MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A 24-year-old suburban Milwaukee man says he screamed for about 5 or 10 minutes after realizing he won a $768 million Powerball jackpot — the third largest in U.S. lottery history.
Manuel Franco, of West Allis, came forward at a news conference Tuesday in Madison, where Wisconsin’s lottery is headquartered. Franco said his heart started racing when he realized one of the 10 individual tickets he bought a Powerball drawing last month was a winner.
Franco says he quit his job a couple days later but declined to say where he worked.
Franco says he plans to be wise about spending his new wealth and wants “to help out the world.”
He says he chose the cash option lump sum of $477 million.
Under Wisconsin law, the winner or winners can’t remain anonymous and they have 180 days to claim the prize.
The winning ticket was sold at a Speedway gas station in the Milwaukee suburb of New Berlin, a city of about 40,000 people roughly 14 miles (23 kilometers) southwest of Milwaukee, on March 27.
The $768 million prize refers to an annuity option paid over 29 years. The winner also can choose a $477 million cash option. Nearly all grand prize winners opt for the cash prize. The gas station will receive $100,000 for selling the winning ticket.
The jackpot is the third-largest behind the world record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January 2016 and a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot won in South Carolina last October.
Wisconsin Department of Revenue officials estimate that if the winner or winners take the cash prize the state would claim $38 million of the winnings as tax revenue. Annual tax revenue from annuities would build from $11.6 million this year to $47 million by 2048.
The win comes almost exactly two years after Wisconsin hit its last Powerball jackpot, when a Milwaukee resident won $156.2 million on March 22, 2017.
The odds of matching all six balls in the Powerball drawing were 1 in 292.2 million. The winning numbers were 16, 20, 37, 44 and 62.
Seven tickets matched all five white balls but missed matching the red Powerball to win a $1 million prize. Those tickets were sold in Arizona, two in California, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey and New York. Two other tickets sold in Kansas and Minnesota matched all five white balls and doubled the prize to $2 million since the tickets included the Power Play option for an additional $1.
Powerball is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
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