Meet the winner of the $758.7M Powerball jackpot

Mavis L. Wanczyk
Mavis L. Wanczyk of Chicopee, right, comes forward to claim a historic Powerball jackpot.

BRAINTREE, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts hospital worker has claimed the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot, and says she always thought winning the lottery was “a pipe dream.”

Fifty-three-year-old Mavis L. Wanczyk of Chicopee says she was leaving work at night with a Chicopee firefighter and they were discussing Powerball.

That’s when she realized she won. She says he followed her home to make sure she got there safely.

Wanczyk says the first thing she wants to do is sit back and relax. She says she has called work to let them know she won’t be back.

Wanczyk has two adult children, a daughter and a son.

Lottery officials say she chose to take a lump sum payment of $480 million, or $336 million after taxes.

It’s the largest grand prize won by a single lottery ticket in U.S. history.

Massachusetts Treasurer Deb Goldberg said she offered advice to the family about being careful with their newfound wealth.

“A lot of people will be coming at them with all sorts of things,” Goldberg told reporters. “I highly encourage them to find very, very good lawyers and advisers and think very, very carefully about how they are going to manage their assets.”

Wanczyk bought three tickets total. Two were computer-generated Powerball tickets. But the winning ticket, she said, was one with numbers she picked herself using combinations of birthdays.

Her inspiration for the final digit — the Powerball, which was 4 — came from her penchant for playing that number every Friday in a Keno game with her mother, stepfather and a friend.