Winner of €642m US lottery Powerball says she plans to celebrate by hiding in bed
The single biggest lottery jackpot winner in history has received her cheque for $758 million (€642m), and told of her shock at her new-found fortune.
Mavis Wanczyck, 53, was asked how she would celebrate, and replied, laughing: “I’m going to go and hide in my bed.”
Ms Wanczyck, who has worked in the same medical centre in Massachusetts for 32 years, said that she had already resigned from her job on fulfilling her “pipe dream”.
“Actually I just happened to find out,” she said, beaming and bashful beside her mother and sister.
“I was leaving work at night. And my colleague Rob said I bet someone won with these numbers, as they could be birthdays.
“And I was reading them out, and I said ‘I’ve won!’
The ticket which won her the largest single-winner jackpot in North American history was bought in her hometown of Chicopee, 90 miles west of Boston.
She said the numbers were “kind of random, maybe birthdays.”
“There’s a thing between me and my mum and stepfather, and we all go out for dinner once a week and play Keno. And our number is four. So that was one of them.”
The mother of a 31-year-old daughter and a 26-year-old son, Ms Wanczyck said she was driving to the cheque presentation ceremony on Thursday and telling herself: “This isn’t true. It can’t be.’”
“Then I’m like: it is me. And I’m scared. But it’ll be ok.”
Asked what she would do now, she replied: “I want to sit back and relax. I want some time.
“I just wanted to do this, get it over, and then I’d be ok.”
She told the local media gathered for the press conference that her financial situation before the win was “ok.”
“I’m not the richest person in the world, or the poorest person in the world,” she said.
Winners can choose to receive the money in either 30 annual allotments over 29 years or to get it all at once in a single payment for a smaller amount.
She had no plans for a holiday yet, she said, but bought a car in September and now plans to pay the loan off in full.
The Massachusetts state lottery initially said, on Wednesday night, that the jackpot had been won with a ticket bought in Watertown.
Seven hours later, at 7:50am on Thursday, they issued a correction, saying the ticket was sold in Chicopee. One Watertown winner did, however, win $1 million.
“When manually recording the names of the retailers that sold the jackpot winning ticket and the $1 million winning tickets, the information was transcribed incorrectly," said Michael Sweeney, executive director of the Massachusetts state lottery.
"We apologise for the confusion this created and remain thrilled that a jackpot winning ticket and two $1 million winning tickets were sold here in Massachusetts."
Bob Bolduc, founder of the chain, said the winning ticket was sold to a woman around 2.30pm on Tuesday.
The Chicopee store will receive $50,000 for selling the winning ticket, and Mr Bolduc said they plan to donate all of that money to local charities.
The largest lottery win in history, the $1.6 billion Powerball, was won in January 2016 and split between three winners.
Their lump sum, $327.8m, was smaller than yesterday’s win.
Chris and Colin Weir, from Largs in Ayrshire, became Britain’s biggest ever lottery winners when they took home £161.7m in July 2011.