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$758.7 million Powerball jackpot winner comes forward

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CHICOPEE, Mass. — Mavis Wanczyk came forward as the winner of the largest single lottery jackpot ever in North America, the $758.7 million grand prize in Wednesday’s Powerball.

The winning ticket with numbers 6, 7, 16, 23, 26, and Powerball number 4, was purchased at the Pride Station & Store in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

The 53-year-old said she discovered she had won soon after she left work at Mercy Medical Center, when a co-worker looked at her ticket and told he she had won. She said she couldn’t believe it.

“I couldn’t drive anywhere. I couldn’t do anything,” she said.

She said her co-worker followed her home to make sure she was OK.

Wanczyk, who has two adult children, said her big plan is to retire early, and she’s already called her boss and said, “I will not be coming back.”

Asked what she planned to do to celebrate Thursday night, she responded, “I’m going to just hide in my bed.”

The owner of the store that sold the ticket, Bob Bolduc, told reporters the winning ticket was bought at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Bolduc said he plans to donate the $50,000 commission he’ll collect for selling a jackpot winner to local charities with a primary focus on education and children.

Lottery officials initially reported the winning ticket was sold at a different store in Watertown, Massachusetts, because of a transcription error by lottery staff early Thursday morning. 

The Watertown store sold another winning ticket worth $1 million. It had all five numbers except the Powerball correct.

Wanczyk won’t get the full jackpot — lottery winnings are taxed like income.

The IRS taxes the top income bracket 39.6 percent. The government will withhold 25 percent of that before the money ever gets to the winner, and the rest has to be paid at tax time.

But it’s not just Wanczyk who will cash in. There are 40 ticket holders who won $1 million or more by getting five numbers correct — without the Powerball.

One of those tickets was sold in Colorado Springs.

Secondary prizes can be as little as $4 for a ticket that only got the Powerball number correct. A total of $135 million in prize money will go to 9.4 million other ticket buyers who didn’t win the jackpot.