24-Year Old Claims Third Largest Lottery Prize in US History of More than $768 Million!
A 24-year old Wisconsin man has stepped forward to claim the third largest lottery prize in US history! Before last months Powerball draw, Manuel Franco had less than $1000 in his bank, but this needn’t be an issue now after claiming a whopping $768 million windfall! The lucky young man from Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, purchased his tickets for March 27th Powerball draw without ever dreaming he would be the one standing on the podium with Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue Secretary Peter Barca and Wisconsin Lottery Director Cindy Polzin!
Franco had two options; receive the total prize spread out over his lifetime or to go with a smaller cash lump sum; he opted for the latter, which means after paying state federal taxes, Franco will take home roughly $326 million!
After realising he won this life-changing amount of money, he still went to work, but he quit that day and has never wanted to go back – who would? Prior to the win, Franco was struggling to save $1000. He told reporters; “Trying to get the bank account to $1,000 was my biggest concern [before winning the lottery].” On purchasing his Powerball ticket from a Speedway gas station near Milwaukee, he said he “pretty much felt lucky” and that “It’s a weird lucky feeling. It’s not natural, not normal at all.” He also added that when he purchased about $10 worth of Powerball tickets, he even winked at the security camera!
Day by Day
The day after the draw, Franco was already happy with the realisation that he had won $4 on one of his tickets, but not as happy as discovering that one of his tickets had all of those numbers he needed for the Powerball jackpot, explaining that his “heart started to pump and whatnot” when he checked and double checked the $768 million ticket.
Usually, a handful of states in America allow winners to decide whether to remain anonymous or not, but Wisconsin doesn’t allow such option, which resulted in Franco revealing his identity in order to claim his prize. He had a total of 180 days in which to make a claim, but he waited just a little over a month, to allow the win to sink in plus, during that time, he says he hired a team of lawyers and financial advisors to help him plan out what he’ll do with his financial windfall.
He is still undecided on what to do with his new found fortune, but he insists he will not become “one of the people who went bankrupt or broke or anything like that” and does have plans to travel, pay for family to go to college and to donate some money to charity. “I’m not sure what the next chapter is going to bring for my life,” he told reporters. “It feels like a dream, and it feels honestly like, any moment, I’m going to wake up and I’m just going to be back in my room, in my bed.”