24-year-old Wisconsin man wins $768M Powerball jackpot
Most Popular Today
Mega Millions jackpot hits $1 billion ahead of Friday lottery draw
Winning $730M Powerball ticket sold in Maryland
Mega Millions jackpot closing in on $1 billion
Mega Millions jackpot surges to nearly half a billion dollars
Instead of spending the rest of his life working, he’ll spend his days looking over his shoulder.
A Wisconsin man who is just 24-years-old came forward as the $768 million Powerball winner — and revealed he was immediately racked with paranoia.
Manuel Franco cashed in his prize Tuesday after weeks of fearing someone was after his golden ticket, he said at a news conference.
“I got that paranoia when you think the whole world is after you. I thought there was somebody behind me every single day,” he said. “It’s hard living your life when you have the ticket everybody wants.”
The West Allis resident walked into a New Berlin gas station on March 27, the day of the drawing, and bought $10 worth of Quick Pick tickets on a lark, because he “pretty much felt lucky,” he said.
Franco — who has been playing Powerball since he was 18 — sifted through his tickets the next day after work and started tossing the losers.
He thought he’d checked them all, but he noticed one stub was stuck to another one.
That’s when he realized the numbers on the nearly forgotten ticket matched the jackpot and went “insane.”
“It was amazing. My heart started racing, my blood started pumping, I felt warm,” he recalled. “I started screaming for about five or 10 minutes.”
Then the nervous feelings started to creep in, so Franco quickly stashed the golden ticket in a safe inside his home, he shared.
The winner of the third-largest lottery jackpot in US history barely smiled during the Wisconsin Lottery news conference — even as he was handed his giant check, surrounded by balloons and a cow mascot wearing a dress.
Now that he’s flush, Franco probably won’t have to work another day in his life: He’s pocketing the $477 million lump sum.
“After I knew that I won, I honestly couldn’t work,” he said, noting he quit two days after realizing he was rich.
Franco wouldn’t say what he did for a living, but said that he had struggled to keep his bank account at even $1,000.
Now Franco, who has a girlfriend, fully expects that all sorts of random people will come hounding him for money.
“I’m ready, and I know how to say ‘no’ to random people,” he said.
A 24-year-old Wisconsin man came forward Tuesday to claim the $768 million Powerball jackpot — finally ending weeks of feeling "paranoid" someone would snatch his golden ticket.