Millennial Wins 3rd-Biggest Jackpot in US History

Wisconsin man quit his job 2 days after winning
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 24, 2019 3:33 AM CDT
Millennial Wins 3rd-Biggest Jackpot in US History
Manuel Franco of West Allis, Wis., winner of second-highest Powerball lottery in history, attends a news conference at the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in Madison, Wis., on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.   (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

A 24-year-old Wisconsin man stepped forward Tuesday to claim a $768 million Powerball prize, the nation's third-largest lottery jackpot, saying he "pretty much felt lucky" the day he bought his tickets and has been worried that people want to steal his ticket, the AP reports. Manuel Franco, of West Allis, says he was sorting through $10 worth of quick-pick tickets after the March 27 drawing and thought he had checked all his tickets. Then he saw one last ticket stuck to another one. He recounted to reporters the feeling as he matched the first two numbers, then glanced at the Powerball to see it matched too. "I was going insane," Franco says. "I looked back at the three other numbers, they all matched. My heart started racing, my blood started pumping, I felt warm. I started screaming."

Franco—who said he started feeling paranoid after realizing he had won—declined to reveal much about himself at a news conference conducted by Wisconsin Lottery officials, smiling often but deflecting questions such as what he did for a living, the AP reports. Franco did say he quit work the second day after winning. Franco picked the $477 million cash option, and will be left with $326 million after taxes. Franco, whose financial goal before winning the jackpot was getting his bank account to the $1,000 mark, now plans to make some charitable contributions and "take off somewhere" to think about his next steps. Moments after the news conference ended, two Republican state lawmakers introduced a bill that would allow Wisconsin lottery winners to remain anonymous.

(More Powerball stories.)

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