Manuel Franco, of West Allis, Wisconsin.
  • 24-year-old Manuel Franco came forward on Monday as the winner of a R11 billion US Powerball jackpot.
  • He bought the ticket on March 27 and waited nearly a month before coming forward to officials.
  • Franco plans to take the jackpot lump sum, which has a cash value of some R6.8 billion.
  • He said in a press conference that he wants to "help out the world" and pay for a family member's college education.
  • Visit Business Insider South Africa for more stories .


    A 24-year-old Wisconsin resident came forward on Monday as the winner of a $768.4 million Powerball jackpot – the equivalent of around R11 billion.

    It is the third largest lottery win in US history.

    Manuel Franco, of West Allis, Wisconsin, bought the ticket on March 27 according to a press release from Wisconsin Lottery.

    Wisconsin does not allow jackpot winnings to be claimed anonymously.

    The winning ticket was one of 10 tickets Franco had purchased on his way home from work, ABC News reported.

    He said he was feeling "lucky" the night he bought the tickets, but he didn't watch the Powerball drawing. Instead, he later checked his numbers online and learned he was the winner.

    "It was amazing. My heart started racing, blood pumping. My blood felt warm. Screamed for about five or ten minutes. Good thing my neighbors didn't hear," Franco said at a press conference, according to Fox 6.

    He said he quit his job two days later. It is unclear what he did for work.

    While Franco knew he had won in March, he waited nearly a month before coming forward to officials.

    He plans to take the jackpot lump sum, which has a cash value of $477 million (around R6.8 billion), according to Powerball, and will receive just over $326 million, or around R4.65 billion, after taxes are taken out.

    Franco said he's not sure exactly what he will do with the money, but said in a press conference that he wants to "help out the world" and pay for a family member's college education.

    "I'm sure you'll never see me as like one of the people who went bankrupt or broke or anything like that. I plan to live my life normal as much as possible," he said.

    Franco said he's been playing Powerball since his 18th birthday. After winning, he doesn't plan on playing again.

    "I just can't believe an ordinary guy like me would ever be in this position. As a winner now, I don't plan on playing any more. But, I will say that the two-dollar ticket you buy is worth the chance to change your life forever. It certainly has changed my life and I look forward to the future," he said, according to a Wisconsin Lottery press release.

    The largest-ever lottery jackpot was a $1.5863 billion Powerball prize in 2016. The prize was won by John and Lisa Robinson of Tennessee, Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt of Florida, and Marvin and Mae Acosta of California.

    Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

    Also from Business Insider South Africa: