The Powerball lottery is widely considered to be the mother of all lotto games, with jackpot tickets creating jaw-droppingly rich winners. News of a recent single ticket win of $758.7 million has only increased Powerball's reputation and, in classic American style, there was plenty of drama surrounding the location of the winner!
News from Powerball chiefs in August revealed the winner of their huge $758.7 million jackpot was Mavis Wancyzk, a 53-year-old woman from Massachusettes. Yet the location of the winner and the associated store was initially mixed up, causing plenty of hullabaloo and commotion just after the announcement of the winning combo.
Indeed, at 2:36 in the morning, officials said the Handy Variety store sold the jackpot ticket, causing its excited owner to jump out of bed to try and identify his lucky customer. But, by dawn, the truth emerged that the 700 million dollar winner and Pride Station & Store were located in Chicopee, 80 miles further west.
The confusion was caused by the Handy Variety store selling a 'tiny' $1 million winning Powerball ticket. Head of the Pride Station chain, Bob Bolduc, said the company would be paid a $50,000 commission for selling the jackpot ticket, which would be donated to local charities.
Speaking to the media in the aftermath of her win, Wanczyk revealed how she was left stunned when her co-worker recited the six lotto draw numbers to her. She recalls saying out loud:
"I have that. I have that. I have that... I couldn’t drive anywhere, I couldn’t do anything!"
She managed to compose herself, before deciding to quit her job at Mercy Medical Center, where she'd worked for 32 years. Aside from that, she said she planned on sitting back and relaxing with her life changing sum of money before making any other big decisions. A wise choice if you ask most financial experts.
Wanczyk revealed that she's a regular scratch card gambler, but only played the lottery on the odd occasion. She told reporters that her lucky number is four – a digit that had become legendary for her mother, stepfather and friend who played Keno together every Friday night. As fate would have it, the Powerball number that sent Wanczyk's jackpot through the roof was number four!
The full winning lottery numbers were 6, 7, 16, 23, 26 and 4. Despite purchasing five tickets, Wanczyk still had a 292,201,338-1 chance and she nailed it. The most incredible part of the latest Powerball jackpot was the win of such a vast sum one by one person. The last windfall of that nature came in 2016, with a win of $1.6 billion shared between three gamblers.
National Lottery winners in the United Kingdom should count themselves doubly lucky, since in the US winners have to pay gambling tax. Lottery officials stated that Wanczyk decided to take a lump sum cheque of $480 million – but would actually 'only' receive $336 million after taxes.
The winners also have to weigh up whether to accept the payment all at once or in annual payouts. The latter is received over 29 years, in 30 instalments, with the each amount rising by five percent a year. The lump sum payment, if wisely used and invested with aptitude, can end up the healthiest financial option.
But there are risks attached to receiving such a vast sum of money all in one go. Firstly, there is no guarantee of receiving the same level of capital gain, as assured with the annuity option. Secondly, massive lottery jackpot winners the world over have a bad track record when it comes to protecting their newfound wealth.
British entrepreneur, Rob Moore, in his book 'Money: Know More, Make More, Give More', explains that most lotto winners aren't used to dealing with huge amounts of money and lack financial intelligence when it comes to spending wisely. As a result, a large percentage actually end up blowing their fortune!
Reassuringly, Wancyzk's says her plans are simple – she intends on getting out of the limelight as soon as possible, before buying a new car. Playing the lottery remains a paradox. On the one hand, the odds of getting six lottery numbers is approximately 292,000,000-1 – that's like flipping heads 28 times in a row.
But the more people who play and the higher the volume of combinations, the bigger the chance of a winner. Every player knows they probably won't win – but they just might become multi-millionaires overnight. And that's what keeps them playing. To play yourself and have a chance to be the next big winner, visit the TheLotter!