TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

$768M Wisconsin Powerball winner ‘pretty much felt lucky’

MADISON, Wis. (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.

Manuel Franco, of West Allis, said 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, and 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 said. “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 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 and what kind of car he drives. Franco did say he quit work the second day after winning, saying he just couldn’t continue.

The $768 million prize refers to an annuity option paid over 29 years. The winner also can choose a $477 million cash option, which was the route Franco picked. The state will keep $36.4 million in taxes and the federal government will keep $114.6 million in taxes, leaving Franco with $326 million.

Franco said his financial goal before winning the jackpot was getting his bank account to the $1,000 mark. He said he hoped to make some charitable contributions and was prepared for people who might come asking for money.

“I’m ready and I know how to say no,” Franco said. “I’m just going to take off somewhere and, honestly, just take my time with it, think it over, talk to my family and make sure I spent it in the right way.”

Under Wisconsin law, winners cannot remain anonymous. Franco said as soon as he realized he had won he started feeling paranoid and put his winning ticket in a safe.

“I got that paranoia when you think the whole world is after you,” he said. “I thought there was somebody behind me every single day. It’s hard living your life when you have the ticket everybody wants.”

He didn’t offer any specific incidents or exchanges with anyone that made him feel afraid. Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and state Rep. Gary Tauchen, both Republicans, introduced a bill moments after the news conference ended that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

The legislators said in a memo seeking co-sponsors that it’s unfortunate Franco “is now being forced to publicly expose his identity in order to collect his winnings. This type of public display often makes lottery winners targets of fraud, abuse and harassment.”

Lottery officials frequently cite transparency and public trust in their games as reasons for publicly identifying winners. Drawings can be rigged; former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director Eddie Tipton admitted in 2017 to manipulating software so he could predict winning numbers on certain days of the year. Tipton, his brother and a friend fixed jackpots that paid $2.61 million to them and their associates in four states.

Franco’s winning ticket was sold on March 27 at a Speedway gas station in the Milwaukee suburb of New Berlin, a city of about 40,000 people roughly 14 miles (23 kilometers) southwest of Milwaukee. The gas station will receive $100,000 for selling the winning ticket.

The jackpot is the third-largest behind the world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January 2016 and a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot won in South Carolina last October.

The prize is also the largest jackpot in Wisconsin history. The win comes almost exactly two years after Wisconsin hit its last Powerball jackpot, when a Milwaukee resident won $156.2 million on March 22, 2017.

The odds of matching all six balls in the Powerball drawing were 1 in 292.2 million. The winning numbers were 16, 20, 37, 44 and 62.

Seven tickets matched all five white balls but missed matching the red Powerball to win a $1 million prize. Those tickets were sold in Arizona, two in California, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey and New York. Two other tickets sold in Kansas and Minnesota matched all five white balls and doubled the prize to $2 million since the tickets included the Power Play option for an additional $1.

Powerball is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIDEO NEWS

National Politics

Step by step: Democrats play the long game against Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — First came the sternly worded letters. Then the subpoenas. Now the votes…

Once again, Iraq caught up in tensions between US and Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — When U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with Iraqi officials…

Trump Delays Imposing Tariffs on Auto Imports and Parts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Caught in a sprawling trade dispute with U.S. rival China, President Donald…

U.S. Reps Darren Soto and Brian Mast To Hold Press Conference on Congressional Services Act in Kissimmee May 20

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – On Monday, May 20th at 9:30 am, U.S. Reps. Darren Soto and…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

Gov. DeSantis: ‘Dumping’ migrants in Florida is unacceptable

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s governor plans to fight any federal plans to fly hundreds…

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs CS/HB 107: Wireless Communications While Driving

Sarasota, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed CS/HB 107: Wireless Communications While Driving. The law…

U.S. Reps Darren Soto and Brian Mast To Hold Press Conference on Congressional Services Act in Kissimmee May 20

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – On Monday, May 20th at 9:30 am, U.S. Reps. Darren Soto and…

Governor Ron DeSantis, Gary Sinise and Westgate Resorts Honor Thousands of Military Families

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Westgate Resorts, Gary Sinise and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hosted thousands of military families in Kissimmee…

FNN SPORTS

  • In this photo, UCF Knights tight end Michael Colubiale (86)--newly signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars--celebrates with wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (4) after Smith scored a touchdown against the Memphis Tigers at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando. Photo: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports
    JACKSONVILLE (FNN SPORTS) - Jaguars Make Roster Moves Following Day Two of Rookie Minicamp (Photo: Matt Stamey/USA TODAY Sports)

MORE SPORTS NEWS

The Latest: Tiger on wrong side of cut at PGA Championship

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black on Friday…

Only four players in 100 years have won six NFL titles

Tom Brady will soon slip on his sixth Super Bowl ring, and Herb Adderley is…

Jaguars Make Roster Moves Following Day Two of Rookie Minicamp

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Jacksonville Jaguars // Following the the team’s annual rookie minicamp,…

MATCH RECAP: Orlando City Falls 1-0 in Atlanta

ATLANTA (FNN SPORTS) - Source: Orlando City SC // Orlando City (3-5-3, 12 points) fell 1-0…

Portland Thorns FC Rout Orlando Pride 3-1 at Home

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The Orlando Pride have an uphill battle this season. With…

Bucks beat Celtics 116-91 to advance to East final

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks found another gear after their first…

BUSINESS NEWS

  • Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh held a press conference Monday on returning $1 billion to the tax roll. (Photo by Willie David / Florida National News)
    ORLANDO (FNN NEWS) - Property Appraiser Rick Singh Recovers $1 Billion for Orange County Tax Roll (Photo by Willie David / Florida National News)

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Trump Delays Imposing Tariffs on Auto Imports and Parts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Caught in a sprawling trade dispute with U.S. rival China, President Donald…

US to Add 30,000 Seasonal Worker Visas as Soon as This Week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration plans to allow 30,000 more foreign workers temporarily into…

Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

Bank of America Raising Hourly Minimum Wage to $20

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20…

Pinterest sets sites on $1.5B in first public share offering

NEW YORK (AP) — Pinterest, among a gaggle of tech companies planning to go public…

Gone in 6 minutes: an Ethiopian Airlines jet’s final journey

From nearly the moment they roared down the runway and took off in their new…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Review: Egerton glitters in glossy, conventional ‘Rocketman’

Whatever you say about Dexter Fletcher’s glossy, glittering Elton John blinged-out biopic ”Rocketman ,” a shiny…

[PHOTOS] Bella Hadid Stuns for “Dolor Y Gloria” Premiere at Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France (FNN NEWS) - Supermodel and Bvlgari ambassador Bella Hadid is no stranger to…

Pop Icon Dionne Warwick Releases New Album “She's Back”

NEW YORK, N.Y. (FNN NEWS) - Legendary Grammy Award-winner Dionne Warwick releases her new album, She’s Back (Kind Music/Entertainment…

Grumpy Cat, Who Entertained Millions Online, Dies at Age 7

MORRISTOWN, Ariz. (AP) — Grumpy Cat, whose sourpuss expression entertained millions on the internet and…

[PHOTOS] Shailene Woodley Bucks Trend, Steals Show During “Rocketman” Premiere at Cannes

CANNES, France (FNN NEWS) - "Big Little Lies" actress Shailene Woodley bucked the red carpet…

2019 Cannes Film Festival: Pioneer Lebanese Oscar-Nominated Director Talks Women in Motion

CANNES, France (FNN NEWS) - Nadine Labaki made history last year as the first Lebanese female…

LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL & TOURISM

  • This cruise line rivals Broadway with 134 shows, 50 theaters
    MIAMI, Fla. (AP) - This cruise line rivals Broadway with 134 shows, 50 theaters

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

[PHOTOS] The Most Stunning Celebrity Looks from 2019 Cannes Film Festival’s Opening Night

CANNES, France (FNN NEWS) – Stunning celebrity fashion filled the red carpet on Opening Night…

Governor Ron DeSantis, Gary Sinise and Westgate Resorts Honor Thousands of Military Families

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Westgate Resorts, Gary Sinise and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hosted thousands of military families in Kissimmee…

Expedia Unpacks the Best Time to Book, Cheap Places to Visit, and Everything Else You Need to Know About Summer 2019

BELLEVUE, Wash. (FNN NEWS) - Searches for "summer 2019" have been on the rise for the…

3 black women win Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America

NEW YORK (AP) — When Cheslie Kryst won the Miss USA crown, it marked more…

Cinematic Horror Icons Come to Life in All-New “Universal Monsters” Mazes at Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights”

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., ORLANDO, Fla. – “Universal Monsters” will come to life in all-new terrifying Halloween Horror…