A woman has come forward as the sole winner of the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot.
Mavis Wanczyk, 53, was introduced at a press conference Thursday morning. She purchased the winning ticket in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
“Your prototypical Massachusetts resident. I think you’re going to be taken by her. I think she probably has a good story,” Michael Sweeney, the head of the Massachusetts State Lottery told CBS Boston before the press conference. “I think she actually represents probably what’s best about our lottery players here in the Commonwealth.”
The winning numbers were 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, and the Powerball number was 4.
The winning ticket was purchased about 2:30 p.m. on August 23 at the Pride Station & Store in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the Boston Herald reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wanczyk Found Out She Won the Ticket While She Was at Work
Wanczyk told reporters she found out that she won the ticket while she was at work. She was walking out of work with a friend, Rob, a Chicopee fireman, and he told her the winning numbers.
“‘It’s never going to be, it’s just a pipe dream I’ve always had,’” she said she thought as they talked about it. “And he’s reading these numbers and I pull mine out and I go ‘hey, I have that …’ and he goes ‘let me see that ticket,’ he goes, ‘you just won.’”
She said he thought he was joking, but then he told her no, “sign that ticket now.”
Wanczyk said she wasn’t able to drive anywhere after finding out she won because she was so stunned.
“I couldn’t do anything so he followed me to make sure I made it home safely,” she told reporters. “That’s how I found out, from him.”
She is a Southbridge, Massachusetts, native who grew up in Springfield and now lives in Chicopee. Wanczyk is a regular lottery player, she said.
2. She Has 2 Children & Says She Is Looking Forward to Retiring
Wanczyk, who was accompanied by her mother and sister at the press conference, is the mother of an adult daughter and son, she told reporters.
She called in to work after finding out she won to say that she would be taking some time off. She also said she is looking forward to retiring early.
3. The Pride Station & Store, Which Plans to Donate Its Prize to Charity
The store’s owner, Bob Bolduc, said he will donate the $50,000 he received to local children’s charities.
“I didn’t have anything to do with it, it’s just a matter of luck,” Bolduc told reporters. “Somebody had to win and it just happened to be our chain.”
The Massachusetts State Lottery mistakenly identified the store where the winning ticket was purchased as Handy Variety, a convenience store in Watertown, but later said it was actually sold in Chicopee. The Handy Variety store sold a $1 million ticket.
“I didn’t know anything about that, I had no idea, I learned about that as the morning developed,” Bolduc said. “I got to the office around 8 o’clock, the phone was ringing, it was several national radio and TV stations and all of a sudden we knew it was real. They couldn’t all be making the same mistake.”
Bolduc didn’t say exactly what charities he will be supporting, but said they provide help to children, foster children and education.
“All the ones we support now know it,” he said, “and they are probably pretty happy now.”
4. It Is the Largest Grand Prize Won by a Single Lottery Ticket in U.S. History & the Second Largest Powerball Prize Ever
The $758.7 million prize is the largest grand prize won by a single lottery ticket in U.S. history, Powerball Product Group Chair Charlie McIntyre told the Associated Press.
It is the second largest Powerball prize ever to the $1.6 billion prize shared by three people in January 2016, McIntyre says.
5. She Will Receive $480.5 Million by Taking the Cash Option
If Wanczyk takes the cash prize option, she will win $480.5 million, according to Fox Boston.
Otherwise, the jackpot would be paid out in 30 payments over 29 years, increasing 5 percent annually.
“The advantage of taking cash is that people can invest the money with hopes of a greater return than the guaranteed payments they would receive through the annuity. The downside is they’ll pay a little more in taxes and won’t have the certainty of giant annual paychecks for decades,” according to Fox Boston.