When a lottery player in germany wins millions, he gets two good pieces of advice from the lottery company: don’t talk about it and don’t scout the workplace! By that measure, mavis wanczyk, a 32-year veteran of a massachusetts hospital, got it all wrong on day one. The 53-year-old won a nominal 758.7 million U.S. Dollars (about 642 million euros), the biggest single prize in lotto history – never before in the world has a single person won so much money in the lottery.
The day after the drawing she dialed the number of her employer. "I called them and told them that I would not be coming back." After that she gave a press conference in front of running cameras, which was seen all over the usa on television and worldwide on the internet. "This was a dream of mine", mother of two adult children says of her successful lotto coup. It took a while before she could believe her own luck.
In fact, it’s incredibly unlikely to be the one player out of millions who gets five of the 69 numbers right, plus the super number. The chance is 1 in 292 million. U.S. Media claim to have calculated that the chances of drowning and being struck by lightning at the same time are higher. Mavis wanczyk had bet on the birthdays of friends and relatives and on numbers from her personal everyday life – just like many lottery players do. She had handed in her ticket in a local supermarket just hours before the draw.
Unlike in germany, it is quite common in the USA and the UK for lottery winners to appear in public. The consequence is that from the very first minute, supplicants are standing on the mat and trying to take money from the winner with more or less honest statements. The scottish couple chris and colin weir even had to flee to spain a few years ago because freeloaders wanted to enrich themselves from the then 185 million euros in winnings.
Taken completely by surprise
When mavis wanczyk appeared in front of the media in massachusetts on thursday, she herself was still caught completely off guard. At first she couldn’t believe it, but a colleague brought her home from the late shift at the hospital that evening. She now wants to have time to process the gain for herself. "I will hide in my bed."
According to the rules of the US powerball lottery, the winner has two basic options. Either she chooses to win the full amount and have it paid out in annual installments over a period of 30 years. Wanczyk opted for a one-off payment, accepting a discount. She receives 480 million dollars gross, after taxes 336 million remain according to calculations of the lottery company.
In europe not yet reached
Last year, a jackpot filled with almost 1.6 billion dollars was won in the USA. However, the winnings were distributed among tipsters in three states, all of whom had the five numbers and the additional number correct on their ticket. In 2013, gloria mackenzie, then 84 years old, won a nominal 590 million dollars in florida. All had decided for the one-time payment of about 370 million dollars.
In europe, such sums have never been reached before. The scottish couple weir with 185 million euros and a couple from england with 190 million euros achieved the grossest winnings. The highest prize ever paid out in germany was 90 million euros in october 2016 – it went to a tipper in baden-wurttemberg. Christmas is "el gordo" in spain – the fat man – in line. The jackpot is worth 2.2 billion euros. However, the individual winnings are capped at four million euros.