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 an, 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.
In Georgia, two $1 million tickets were sold in Wednesday night's drawing. Those winners matched five of the winning numbers.
The jackpot is now reset back to $40 million.
Powerball is played in 44 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all of which collectively oversee the game. Drawings are held twice a week. Five white balls will be drawn from a drum containing 69 balls and one red ball will be selected from a drum with 26 balls. Players can choose their numbers or let a computer make a random choice.
The odds of matching all six numbers remain the same, at a miserable one in 292.2 million, regardless of the jackpot prize. However, a larger prize attracts more players and that means more number combinations are selected, so the probability increases that one or more people will buy winning tickets. So, an individual's chances of winning don't increase, but the odds that someone will win do rise.