Winner of record $758m lottery criticised for shocking reaction

  • By Zakiya Afzani

 Woman who won over $758m on the lottery comes under fire for her response

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The winner of the biggest jackpot in Lottery history, $758.7m has come forward to collect her prize, coming under heavy criticism for her reaction.


US mother-of-two Mavis Wanczyk, 53, bought the ticket at a Chicopee, Massachusetts, petrol station.


The winner, whose lucky numbers were 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, and 4 told reporters she had already quit her job the moment she realised she had won almost a billion dollars.


The biggest ever US Lottery Powerball jackpot was $1.6bn, although that was shared by three ticket holders in January 2016. Making Wanczyk’s the largest ever individual win.


Massachusetts State Lottery told reporters the ticket in Wednesday night’s draw had been validated.


“The first thing I want to do is just sit back and relax.” said Ms Wanczyk, chewing gum.


“I had a pipe dream.. and it came true.”


She told journalists she had picked her lucky numbers based on relatives’ birthdays. That it has been a life long ambition to win millions of dollars, quit her job and relax.


Wanczyk said of her 32-year job at a medical centre: “I’ve already called them and told them I will not be going back.”


She added  “I’m just going to go hide in my bed”.


Reporters asked if she had any big plans for herself or family, ambitions or charitable goals.

Wanczyk replied she just bought a new car and plans to pay it off in full.


One lottery official described the woman as “your prototypical Massachusetts resident”.


He added that she seems like “a hard-working individual” and “clearly she’s excited”.


The $50’000 prize awarded to the business that sells the winning numbers will be donated in full to charity, said Pride petrol station owner Bob Bolbuc.


In the US unlike any other county gambling winnings are subject to tax.


Powerball Product Group chairman Charlie McIntyre said in a statement that six other tickets – sold in Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands won $2m each.


Thirty-four other tickets across the US scooped $1m each.


Odds of winning the US Lottery jackpot are one in 292.2 million.


Critics have heavily criticised Wanczyk for lack of ambition or charity. It is standard practise for lottery winners to donate a portion to charity, charitable causes or friends and family in need.

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