WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 24-year-old man in Wisconsin has come forward on Tuesday to claim a $768 million Powerball prize.
- Manuel Franco said he’s been buying Powerball tickets since he was 18 and just “felt lucky” on March 27 — the day he bought the ticket at a Speedway gas station.
- Franco opted to receive a lump sum of $477 million which will net $326 million, according to Wisconsin lottery officials.
A 24-year-old man from the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis in Wisconsin stepped forward to claim the massive $768.4 million Powerball prize. Wisconsin does not support anonymity among lottery winners.
Manuel Franco, who’s been buying Powerball tickets since he turned 18, has won the third-largest jackpot in US lottery history.
The lucky winner said he bought the winning lottery ticket at a Speedway gas station in New Berlin on March 27. The Speedway station will receive $100,000.
During a news conference on Tuesday, Franco recalled: “I walked into the Speedway and I purchased $10 worth of individual Powerball tickets.”
“I honestly felt so lucky that I did look up at the camera and I wanted to wink at it cause I just had that lucky feeling,” he added.
Franco opted for the $477 million lump sum cash option though he admitted he was at first leaning toward the annuity payments. He will net $326 million after state and federal taxes, according to Wisconsin lottery officials.
The Wisconsin native was ecstatic when he found out he won.
“I was going insane,” he said. “My heart started racing. I screamed for about 5 or 10 minutes.”
The next day, Franco still went to work but was very nervous and barely able to hide the good news from his coworkers. Shortly after, he quit his job. He didn’t mention where he worked.
To prevent him from making any bad decisions, he hired a legal and financial team to help him with his fortune.
“I want to take a break, let it sink in,” he said. “I do want to help out the world but I want to make sure my future is secure.”