News Good News Hospital worker wins almost $1 billion in record lottery prize

Hospital worker wins almost $1 billion in record lottery prize

Mavis Wanczyk
A 53-year-old health care worker from Chicopee, Massachusetts, has won more than $US750 million.
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A 53-year-old hospital worker from a regional American city has won what is thought to be the largest single lottery prize, claiming almost a billion dollars in the US Powerball.

Mavis Wanczyk, who says she worked for the past 32 years at a Springfield hospital, said she has told her employers: “I will not be coming back”, after winning more than US$750 million (A$950 million).

“I wanted to get this over and done with, and then everyone would leave me alone,” Ms Wanczyk, the mother of a 31-year-old daughter and a 26-year-old son, told reporters Friday morning at news conference to claim her prize.

When asked what she would be doing to celebrate that night, she joked, “I’m going to go hide in my bed”.

Powerball said on its website that the single ticket matched all six numbers drawn on Wednesday nigh local timt: 6, 7, 16, 23, 26 and the Powerball of 4.

She said she picked her lucky numbers based on relatives’ birthdays.

Ms Wanczyk said she learned of her win when a colleague encouraged her to check her ticket as she left work on Wednesday.

“I said: ‘I know it’s never going to be me; it’s just a pipe dream,” Ms Wanczyk said, adding that she was shocked to find “I am a winner.”

Ms Wanczyk said she had no plans for a big holiday and when asked whether she’d treat herself to a new car, said she’d only recently bought one, so would probably pay it off.

The state lottery had originally said the winning ticket was sold in Watertown, a suburb of Boston, but corrected its announcement hours later.

“This was the result of a human error,” Sweeney said. “Our internal systems, and I want to be clear about this, our internal systems always had the correct information.”

Wanczyk will have a choice of receiving annual payments totalling US$758.7 million over 29 years, or a lump sum of more than $US440 million, before taxes.

Beyond retiring early, she did not say how she planned to spend her winnings.

The odds of a ticket having all six winning numbers are 292.2 million to 1, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Spain’s Christmas Lottery (Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad) is considered to be the world’s riches lottery, with the a jackpot of €720 million (then US$941.8 million) in 2012, although this was shared by multiple winners.

The biggest US lottery jackpot was a US$1.6 billion Powerball prize shared by three winners in 2016.

– With agencies