A 24-year-old man came forward on Tuesday to claim the third-largest US Powerball jackpot in history.
Every now and again, a lucky lottery player cracks the big time and we get to find out how the massive lottery jackpot win will change their lives.
The lucky player this time is Manuel Franco who has been buying Powerball lottery tickets since he turned 18 and boy has it paid off.
The seriously lucky Wisconsin man has taken home the third-largest jackpot in US lottery history – a jackpot worth a whopping $768.4 million!
Grinning from ear to ear, the 24-year-old recounted the story behind winning the $768 million Powerball jackpot — the third-largest in U.S. history, that he purchased on March 27 at a Speedway gas station in New Berlin, Wisconsin.
"I walked into the Speedway and I purchased $10 worth of individual Powerball tickets," said Franco.
"I honestly felt so lucky that I did look up at the camera and I wanted to wink at it because I just had that lucky feeling."
As it turned out his feeling was dead accurate and Lady Luck was definitely on his side.
Even though he had such a good feeling about the Powerball draw, he didn’t watch the drawing and went to work the following day without knowing he’d become a millionaire overnight.
Arriving home from work, he found out that the winning Powerball lottery tickets was purchased in Milwaukee.
Feeling even more optimistic at the news, he sifted through his wallet where he stashed the Powerball lottery tickets. Taking the out he began checking the winning Powerball lottery numbers to those on his tickets.
One ticket netted him $4. He carried out checking the rest and realised that he had in fact struck out.
Or so he thought.
It was when he switched hands that he noticed one last ticket stuck to the back of another — one he hadn’t checked yet.
Again, he began matching the numbers with the winning draw: 16, 20, 37, 44, 62 and the Powerball, 12.
“I saw the first number, I didn’t think much of it, but I knew that it was something special because I normally don’t get the first number,” he said.
He then matched the second number — then the Powerball — before going back and checking the remaining three digits. He described his increasing excitement as he realized what was happening.
"I was going insane," Franco said. “It was amazing. My heart started racing, blood pumping. . . . My blood felt warm. I screamed for about five or 10 minutes.”
The following day he went to work, but said that he was sweating profusely and barely able to hide the good news from his co-workers.
At the news conference he told lottery officials that he had in fact quit his job as he doesn't yet know what the next chapter in his life holds.
"I want to take a break, let it sink in," Franco said. "I do want to help out the world but I want to make sure my future is secure."
What he does know is that he wants to take his time and ensure he doesn't make any bad decisions.
He has set up a legal and financial team to help him.
Franco said he opted for the $477 million lump sum pay out, although he did consider the annuity pay out at first.
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