mother of two on Thursday came forward to claim the largest single jackpot win
in US history — $758.7m — and promptly quit her job of 32 years at a
Mrs. Mavis Wanczyk said she played the lottery as a “pipe
dream,” never believing it would one day be possible for her to retire early
from Mercy Medical Centre, where she has worked for decades.
“I’m going to go hide in my bed!” she
added when asked how she planned to celebrate, wearing black-framed spectacles,
a zip-up hooded black sweater over a grey lace top, necklace and shoulder-length
thick auburn hair.
Wanczyk selected the winning numbers — including a
blend of family birthdays — and bought the ticket from a convenience store in
Chicopee, a small town 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Boston, calling it “a
chance I had to take.”
“I was there just to buy it for luck,” she
explained, chewing gum and grinning. Accompanied to the news conference by her
mother and two sisters, she was still dazed after her monumental
According to AFP, Powerball called Wednesday’s draw “the highest
jackpot won on a single ticket and the biggest lottery prize ever awarded to one
She now has the choice of taking the jackpot as an
annuity spread over 30 years or a one-off cash lump sum of $480.5 million,
depending on state taxes.
“First thing, I just want to sit back and
relax,” Wanczyk said.
She said she found out she had won from a colleague
when they were leaving work overnight and promptly went into shock.
couldn’t drive anywhere, I couldn’t do anything,” she said. “So he followed me
actually to make sure I was safely home.”
“Now it’s like, ‘I am a winner,
and I’m scared, but I’ll be ok.”
Wanczyk, who has a 31-year-old daughter
and 26-year-old son, said she has previously been “OK” financially and had yet
to work out how to spend her millions, other than paying off the car she bought
She said she now wanted to be alone to “figure out what I want
to do [with the money].”