Includes video report
MADISON, Wisc. — The winner of a Powerball lottery ticket worth $768.4 million has been revealed. He is 24-year-old Manuel Franco of West Allis.
Franco spoke at length with reporters on Tuesday afternoon, April 23 — describing in detail the day he had purchased the tickets that led to this big win. Franco said he left work around 2 p.m. on March 27 and went to the Speedway in New Berlin a few minutes later. He bought $10 worth of individual Powerball tickets.
"I pretty much felt lucky," Franco said.
Franco felt so lucky, he looked into the camera at the counter — and pondered winking at it. In the end, he did not.
Franco said he did not watch the Powerball drawing that evening — and actually left for work the next morning without checking the tickets. During the day, he heard all the buzz about someone from Wisconsin hitting the jackpot — and grew curious.
When Franco got home, he first checked the tickets that he and his girlfriend had purchased together — there were no winners. Then he grabbed the ten tickets he purchased after work the day before. The third ticket he checked was a winner of $4 — for hitting the Powerball number. Franco said he got excited about that. It was the last ticket in his hand that ended up being the big winner.
"I don't want to embarrass myself on live TV but, what I can explain. It was amazing. My heart started racing, blood pumping. My blood felt warm. Screamed for about five or ten minutes. Good thing my neighbors didn't hear," Franco said.
Franco told reporters he does not plan to play Powerball again. But he does now know at this point whether he will be staying in the area.
The winning ticket was sold at 2:14 p.m. 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, on March 27.
The $768 million prize refers to an annuity option paid over 29 years. However, Franco decided to claim the cash option of approximately $477 million and will receive just over $326 million after state and federal taxes. He initially wanted to claim the full annuity, but said that he was convinced by people close to him to take the cash option instead.
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.
Wisconsin Department of Revenue officials estimate that if the winner or winners take the cash prize the state would claim $38 million of the winnings as tax revenue. Annual tax revenue from annuities would build from $11.6 million this year to $47 million by 2048.
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, with Powerball number 12.
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.
VIDEO: Watch the press conference