24 August 2017

Massachusetts winner of $758m lottery jackpot quits job

Mavis Wanczyk

The winner of the biggest jackpot in North American history – $758.7m (£590m) – has come forward to collect her prize, lottery officials say.

Mavis Wanczyk, 53, bought the ticket at a Chicopee, Massachusetts, petrol station.

The winner – whose lucky numbers were 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, and 4 – spoke to reporters at Thursday lunchtime.

The biggest ever US Powerball jackpot was $1.6bn, although that was shared by three ticket holders in January 2016.

Massachusetts State Lottery told reporters the ticket in Wednesday night’s draw had been validated.

“The first thing I want to do is just sit back and relax,” said Ms Wanczyk, chewing gum.

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The winning ticket was bought at a petrol station in Chicopee, Massachusetts

“I had a pipe dream.. and it came true.”

She told journalists she had picked her lucky numbers based on relatives’ birthdays.

Ms Wanczyk said of her 32-year job at a medical centre: “I’ve called them and told them I will not be going back.”

She added that she was “going to go hide in my bed”.

One lottery officials described the woman as “your prototypical Massachusetts resident”.

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People wait outside a liquor store to buy lottery tickets in Hawthorne, California

He added that she seems like “a hard-working individual” and “clearly she’s excited”.

The $50,000 prize awarded to the business that sells the winning numbers will be donated to charity, said Pride petrol station owner Bob Bolbuc.

The jackpot payout, which can be made in 29 yearly payments or a lump sum, is estimated to be about $443m.

Powerball Product Group chairman Charlie McIntyre said in a statement that six other tickets – sold in Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands – won $2m each.

Thirty-four other tickets across the US scooped $1m.

Massachusetts lottery officials initially said the jackpot ticket was sold at a convenience store in the Boston suburb of Watertown, but corrected the location on Thursday morning.

It is not clear how the error was made.

Odds of winning the jackpot are one in 292.2 million.

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