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A 53-year-old Massachusetts woman, Mavis Wanczyk, won the largest single jackpot in US history worth USD 758.7 million on Thursday. After she scooped the lottery, she immediately decided to quit her hospital job of 32 years.
The lottery is played in 44 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The draw takes place every Wednesday and Saturday nights.
Mavis Wanczyk said that she had played the lottery as a "pipe dream" and that She had never imagined that it would be possible for her to retire early from the Mercy Medical Centre, where she had been working in patient care. “It was a dream come true”, said Mavis.
"I've called them and told them I will not be coming back," she said after quitting her job in a news conference hosted by the Massachusetts State Lottery.
On being asked about her plans to celebrate her victory, she answered saying, "I'm going to go hide in my bed!, wearing black-framed glasses, a zip-up hooded black sweater over a grey lace top, necklace, and shoulder-length thick auburn hair”.
Wanczyk bought the ticket from a convenience store in Chicopee, a small town 100 miles from west of Boston. Recalling the day she purchased the jackpot ticket, she told that she had selected the ticket numbers that included family birthdays and was just taking a chance.
The winning numbers were 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, from five white balls, and 4 as the so-called Powerball number on a red ball.
The retailer that sold the winning ticket is to receive $50,000, which he has committed to local charities.
After life hit her hard back in November, the victory came nine months after the father of her two children, William Wanczyk, a former fire-fighter, was killed in a hit-and-run case while waiting at a bus shelter in the Massachusetts town of Amherst, US media reported.
A local man who was accused of driving a pickup truck at high speed that hit William was then charged with offenses including motor vehicle homicide, while under the influence and leaving the spot of the accident.
She told at the conference that she got the news about her win from a fireman colleague as they were leaving work at night and promptly went into shock. She further told that she felt every emotion at once and couldn’t drive back to home.
Wanczyk, who has a 31-year-old daughter and 26-year-old son, said she had been "Okay till now", financially and now wanted to be alone to figure out what she wants to do with the money.
It’s indeed her time to sit back and enjoy.
Powerball called Wednesday's draw "the highest jackpot won on a single ticket and the biggest lottery prize ever awarded to one single person."
Six other people won $2 million each and 34 players walked off with $1 million in Wednesday's draw, Powerball said.