Pedro Quezada, the sole winner of last weekend's $338 million Powerball jackpot
, owes about $29,000 in unpaid child support, according to the Passaic County Sheriff's Department.
The 44-year-old Dominican immigrant and father of five, who surfaced as the winner on Tuesday, has an active warrant out for his arrest due to his child support delinquency.
"Because of Mr. Quezada's large winnings, generally the New Jersey Division of Lottery would satisfy the judgment before all of the winnings are released," Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said in an e-mail to NorthJersey.com
. "Like everyone else, until this warrant is satisfied, Mr. Quezada, is subject to potential arrest."
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Authorities reportedly stopped by the winner's Passaic house Wednesday; however no one answered the door, Newsday reported.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Quezada, who apparently doesn't speak English, told reporters through a translator that his first purchase would be "a good car."
Quezada's smile turned into a frown however when one reporter asked him to comment on reports that he recently had a rough few years financially speaking. He confirmed he had.
At the press conference there was no mention of Quezada's failure to pay child support.
News reports revealed that Quezada had purchased a two-family house in Passaic in 2006 but it was foreclosed on three years later when a fire damaged the small bodega where he worked.
When asked if he would remain in New Jersey or move back to the Dominican Republic with his winnings, Quezada told reporters that he couldn't say at this point.
The 44-year-old father of five claimed the lump-sum payment, which will result in a cash payout of $221 million or about $152 million after taxes. The winning ticket — with numbers 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31 — was purchased at Eagle Liquors in Passaic.
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It was the only winning ticket in the multistate lottery and the fourth largest jackpot in Powerball history.
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