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Hispanic immigrant wins Powerball

Store employee Pravin Mankodia outside Eagles Liquors in Passaic, N.J. Monday, March 25, 2013. Mankodia sold the winning $338 million Powerball ticket.

Rich Schultz/AP Photo

Store employee Pravin Mankodia outside Eagles Liquors in Passaic, N.J. Monday, March 25, 2013. Mankodia sold the winning $338 million Powerball ticket.

PASSAIC, N.J. — The winner of a $338 million Powerball jackpot told media outlets Monday that his first priority will be helping his family.

Pedro Quezada, 44, entered Eagle Liquors store, where the ticket was sold, late Monday afternoon. The Passaic store owner ran Quezada’s ticket through the lottery machine to validate it was a winner as a newspaper and television outlets recorded the moment.

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The New Jersey Lottery confirmed that the winning ticket was validated, but officials said they didn’t yet know the winner’s name.

Quezada, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, told reporters in Spanish that he was ‘‘very happy.’’

His wife, Ines Sanchez, told the Bergen Record that Quezada called her with the news Monday afternoon. ‘‘I still can’t believe it,’’ she said.

The numbers drawn Saturday were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31. A lump sum payout would be $221 million, or about $152 million after taxes. It’s the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history.

The family’s apartment is at the end of a short dead end block that abuts a highway in Passaic, 15 miles northwest of New York City. Neighbors stood out in the rain Monday and spoke with pride that one of their own had struck it rich.

Eladia Vazquez, who lives across the street from Quezada’s building, said it’s a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone. ‘‘This is super for all of us,’’ she said. ‘‘They deserve it because they are hard-working people.’’

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