Seeing the jackpot amount of over $700-Million on a poster or television screen is surreal. Now imagine seeing that kind of money on a cheque with your name on it. America was getting used to seeing the Powerball Jackpot roll over for almost two months. Now Mavis Wanczyk’s life changed.
That jackpot - one of the biggest in history - became hers on Wednesday.
Biggest Individual Jackpot Ever
This is the biggest Powerball jackpot ever won by an individual. The previous record winning was $1.58-Billion in 2016, but this winning was shared between three individuals. Their winnings may have been considerable, but $758.7 Million being won by one person was unheard of until now.
Wait and Confusion
When the winning lotto numbers of 6-7-16-23-26 and Powerball 4 were drawn, the Multi-State Lottery Association determined there was a winner in Massachusetts. That’s how accurately Powerball records are kept. But it’s up to the ticket holder to claim the jackpot.
It took Mavis a few hours before contacting the MUSL and claiming her rightful prize. During this time there was some confusion. A technical error caused the state lottery to wrongly announce the Powerball winning ticket was sold in Watertown, near Boston Massachusetts. In fact it had been sold in Chicopee - a town still in Masachusetts but about 80 miles further west. This was cleared up and Mavis is the rightful winner.
When she realized she won Mavis immediately quit her job at a medical centre. She decided to take the immediate pay out option of $480-Million. Her alternative was 29 yearly payments, but most advice says you should avoid the annuity option as taking the lump sum is more tax efficient. Even after millions of dollars are claimed in taxes she won’t have to work ever again.
Large Powerball jackpots aren’t unheard of by any means. In 2017 alone there have been a few huge winners:
- In February winning lottery numbers made someone a winner of $435-Million
- In June a ticket holder walked away with $448-Million
Who knows what the next jackpot will be?
Some features set the Powerball lottery apart from other similar competitions. Firstly the weekly jackpot size is determined by lottery ticket sales and other factors. The organizers place no limit on the weekly amount that can be added to the jackpot.
Store owners support the Powerball state lottery because they can benefit too. A winning lottery ticket that was purchased in store translates into a cash prize for that outlet.
This time around the store plans to donate its share to charity. The store in Chicopee near Boston will receive $50 000 simply for selling a ticket to a winner.
Winners aren’t limited to jackpots and stores. After this week’s draw there 9 397 724 winners of smaller prizes adding up to $135-Million.
Your chances of winning this prize is 1 in 292 201 338. Mavis managed to beat these odds, so you can see that it’s a chance worth taking. Queues are already forming so players can get their hands on tickets for next week’s draw. And of course, don't forget you can always play lottery online instead.