MADISON, WI — The person who won the massive $768 million Powerball jackpot on March 28 has been named as 24-year-old Manuel Franco of West Allis. He said he’s taking the lump-sum payout versus the annuity, he said Tuesday. The payout is worth $477 million according to lottery officials.
“The story of how I won is a bit of a tale. At around 2 p.m. I left work and pretty much felt lucky. I walked into the Speedway and purchased ten dollars worth of Powerball tickets,” he said. “I actually do not watch the drawings at nighttime, nor did I check in the morning. I went to work not knowing any better than to check my tickets. I left work that day and I never thought two things about it.”
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Franco said he went home and went through the tickets he and his girlfriend bought. He went online and searched news articles after he saw that . After not finding any winners, he then went through the tickets he bought after work that he tucked away in his wallet. “I said ‘I live in Wisconsin’ and went through it. I reached into my wallet, and the third ticket I won four dollars and I was super excited about that. I got to what I thought was my last ticket and it didn’t win.”
All of as sudden, he saw one more ticket.
He looked at it one number at a time, after he saw the second number matched, and his heart started pumping. Then one after another, the numbers matched. “At this moment I was going insane,” he said. “I screamed for about five or ten minutes. It’s really amazing.”
“I just couldn’t believe that an ordinary guy like me could win,” Franco said.
Largest Winner In State History
The ticket was sold in Wisconsin, and lottery officials say it’s the largest winning ticket sold in state history.
“This is truly one of the most exciting days in the 30-plus years of the Wisconsin Lottery,” said Lottery Director Cindy Polzin. “With this historic milestone Wisconsin became ‘Winsconsin’ and our state received an incredible amount of national attention. As lottery director, I have always wanted to present a ‘big check’ to a winner. I am extremely happy for Manny and his life-changing experience. It’s truly a moment to celebrate across the state.”
The jackpot was the third-largest in U.S. Lottery history and Powerball’s second-highest in history. According to lottery officials, the ticket was sold in the City of New Berlin.
Lottery officials told Patch that the ticket was sold at the Speedway at 15555 W. Beloit Road in New Berlin. That gas station is located at the intersection of Moorland and Beloit roads in New Berlin.
The winning numbers of 16, 20, 37, 44, 62 and the Powerball number 12 matched those on a ticket sold at a state retailer that will receive a $100,000 payout.
“This is an amazing milestone moment for Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Lottery Director Cindy Polzin said in a statement Thursday morning. “It truly is incredible to think that the winning ticket for this historic jackpot was sold in our own backyard. I am extremely excited for the winners and for our state.”
Odds of winning the grand prize are listed by Powerball as 1 in 292,201,338.00. Wednesday was the first Powerball jackpot won in 2019 after it rolled 25 times since the last win on Dec. 26, 2018.
The win marked Wisconsin’s 17th Powerball jackpot since 1988. The Badger State is now tied for sixth on the all-time list of most frequent winning states.
Wednesday’s win also came nearly two years to the day since Wisconsin hit its last Powerball jackpot. A Milwaukee resident won $156.2 million on March 22, 2017.
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