With $785 million reasons to smile, the winner of the Powerball jackpot stepped forward Thursday.
Mavis Wanczyk, 53, is from Northampton, and purchased the winning ticket in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Beaming at a news conference on Thursday, Wanczyk said she realized that she had won while speaking with a colleague after work Wednesday night.
"I said, it's never going to be me," she said.
She said that she stared at her ticket as her colleague began reading off the winning numbers - and she realized that her numbers matched.
"He told me, 'You just won,'" she said.
He made her sign the ticket, and she was so overwhelmed she couldn't drive, so he drove her home.
Wancyzk said she chose the numbers, along with two quick picks. The winning numbers were based on family birthdays.
She said on Thursday that she was still getting used to idea of being a lottery winner, and that she wants some time alone to figure out what to do with her winnings.
"I just want to sit back and relax," she said.
For 32 years, Wanczyk worked at Mercy Medical Center doing patient care.
"I called them and told them I won't be coming back," she said.
Wanczyk has a 31-year-old daughter and a 28-year-old son, and said that she has had an average financial life.
"I make do with what I have," she said.
She said she decided to come forward to get it over with.
Massachusetts State Lottery officials said they are working with Manczyk to help protect her financial future and make decisions about what to do with the $758 million.
Lottery officials said she chose to take a lump sum payment of $480 million, or $336 million after taxes. About $120 million of the tax revenue will go to the federal government, and $20 million will go to Massachusetts.
Massachusetts lottery officials say they sold $13 million in total ticket sales for the drawing, with $8.4 million of that on Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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