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Wisconsin Resident Wins $768 million Powerball Jackpot

Fireworks in the night sky to celebrate Powerball win

On Wednesday, March 27, a lucky 24-year-old man by the name of Manuel Franco from West Allis won the $768.4 million Powerball jackpot. The winning ticket for what is third-largest lottery prize money in the history of the US was sold in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Mr Franco decided to take the lump sum option and plans to donate a considerable amount to charitable causes.

David Barden, the chair of the Powerball Product Group, said that Mr Franco will certainly have an enjoyable spring. He added that the jackpot could change the fortunes of many – including the winner, the lottery beneficiaries, and the entire state of Wisconsin. Indeed, the retailer who sold the winning ticket is set to receive a $100,000 payout as a reward for selling the winning ticket.


Manuel Franco: "I pretty much felt lucky"

Mr Franco was announced as the winner of the latest giant Powerball lottery at a press conference on April 23rd. The lucky winner stated that he "pretty much felt lucky" about the draw after purchasing his tickets. While not giving away information about his job or the car he drove, Mr Franco did say that he quit work the second day after he discovered about his stroke of good fortune. Wisconsin law does not allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, which is why Manuel came forward publicly to claim his jackpot prize. He stated that he is prepared for people to start lining up to ask him for money, but says: "I'm ready and I know how to say no."

The lump sum option comes to $477 million USD, from which around $38 million will be deducted in tax.


Amazing Milestone for Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s lottery director, Cindy Polzin, said that the jackpot win was an amazing milestone for the state. She further stated that it was incredible that the winning ticket was sold in Wisconsin. Cindy concluded by congratulating the winner.

Before the latest draw, the most recent Powerball jackpot win was in December last year. The then winner, David Johnson, bought his ticket in New York and bagged the $298 million prize money.  Following this event, people purchased the lottery tickets, which is why the jackpot shot up to $768 million within such a short time. After the monster win the jackpot resets to $40 million and will increase until another winner is found.


Lucky Powerball Winners

You have to be incredibly lucky to win the jackpot – in fact, the probability of getting the winning combination is roughly 1 in 292 million. However, Powerball says that 1 in every 25 tickets wins smaller prizes, starting from around $5 CAD. In the draw before last Saturday’s, eight tickets won $1 million USD each with an additional two winning $2 million USD each.

The majority of American states allow residents to participate in the Powerball lottery. The only exceptions are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah. Still, residents of those six can play Powerball by traveling to the other 44 states. Also, most of the lottery’s tickets, which go for either $2 or $3, are sold in physical outlets rather than on online platforms.


Third-Biggest Lottery Jackpot in History

As mentioned earlier, last week’s jackpot is only the third-biggest in US history – it is bettered by the world record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot from January 2016, and a $1.54 billion Mega Millions jackpot from October last year. The 2016 jackpot was shared among three winners, whereas the Mega Millions jackpot was anonymously claimed by a woman residing in South Carolina.

Nobody knows what the winner (or winners) will do with their windfall. They could send it on cars, holidays and other luxurious items, or even opt for philanthropy and investment. What is certain, however, is that the taxman, both at federal and state governments will take a huge cut off the money. All factors considered, the IRS will probably get $176.5 million, while the state of Wisconsin will take $36.5 million.