It looks like Pedro Quezada’s monumental $381 million Powerball jackpot came just at the right time, after Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik announced that he owes $29,000 in child support.
“The Sheriff’s Office was informed by Passaic County Probation Department that Pedro Quezada has an outstanding Child Support Warrant of approximately $29,000,” Berdnik said in a statement to NBC Latino. “The Sheriff’s Office Warrant Squad is attempting to notify Mr. Quezado about the issue in an effort to have it resolved in a timely manner.
Quezada, 44, claimed his winning ticket on Tuesday and immediately moved out of his apartment to keep a low profile and put his bodega up for sale. The unpaid child support payments go back to 2009, but while Berdnik says the issue will be taken care of before Quezada is given his winnings, he technically could be arrested.
“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. Like everyone else, until this warrant is satisfied, Mr. Quezada, is subject to potential arrest.”
It was revealed that he was the person named in the warrant after Quezada was presented with a ceremonial check in Trenton, according to the sheriff’s office.
At his first press conference after winning, Quezada demurred when asked what he would buy first, before saying he would get himself a nice car. He also said he hopes to change the lives of others with his good fortune.
“I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I want to help people in need,” he said.