A woman from Massachusetts has been revealed to be the winner of a $758.7 million Powerball jackpot. Chicopee resident Mavis Wanczyk matched the numbers 6, 7, 16, 23, 26 and Powerball 4 to land the colossal prize and came forward to collect her windfall just hours after Wednesday night’s draw had taken place.
The 53-year-old was introduced to the world’s media at a press conference on Thursday morning. Visibly shaken following the events of the previous evening, she told reporters: “Today, as I was driving here, I’m still like ‘this isn’t true, this can’t be’. And then now, it’s like ‘I am a winner.’ And I’m scared, but I’ll be OK. I’m just coming down from all that. I just want to be me, and be alone and figure out what I want.”
Mavis, who opted to select her own numbers, purchased her winning entry from Pride Station & Store ahead of the draw. “It’s just a chance I had to take,” she said. Luckily, the lottery fan, who regularly goes by Mave, accepted destiny’s call, completely unaware that she could soon be defying odds of over 292 million to one to scoop the second largest Powerball jackpot in history.
The ten-figure draw may have attracted worldwide attention, but it wasn’t until Mavis had left work that she first had an inkling that she was the winner. The Springfield hospital employee was heading out of the building when her friend, Rob, a Chicopee firefighter, read out the winning Powerball results: “He’s reading these numbers and I pull mine out and I go ‘hey, I have that …’ and he goes ‘let me see that ticket,’ he goes, ‘you just won’.”
Much like the rapid removal of a plaster, Mavis was keen to meet the press and claim her gigantic prize as soon as possible and never had any intention of keeping her victory private: “I just wanted to do this, I wanted to just get it over, done with and then everybody will just leave me alone,” she smiled. When quizzed over how she would be celebrating, the winner replied: “I’m going to go hide in my bed.”
Looking ahead to the future, Mavis plans to abandon her job in patient care, a role The Bay State native has held for 32 years: “I’ve called them and told them I won’t be coming back,” she laughed. The mother-of-two claims that she has “been OK” financially throughout her life, but this win would obviously prove life-changing: “I’m not going to say I’m the richest person in the world, I can’t say I’m the poorest person in the world, I make do with what I have,” she said.
The jackpot win was also greeted warmly by the the owner of the Pride Station & Store where the winning ticket was purchased. The store will receive $50,000 in commission, a sum that proprietor Bob Bolduc is set to donate to charity. “I got to the office around 8 o’clock, the phone was ringing, it was several national radio and TV stations and all of a sudden we knew it was real,” he told reporters.
The head of the Massachusetts State Lottery, Michael Sweeney, was quick to offer his congratulations to Mavis, describing her as: “Your prototypical Massachusetts resident,” before adding: “I think she actually represents probably what’s best about our lottery players here in the Commonwealth.”