Struggling 24-year-old man wins staggering $768 million lottery jackpot
Billions of people out there dream of winning big on the lottery - but one person who no longer has to fantasize is Manuel Franco, who scored $768 million last month when he became the winner of the third-largest lottery jackpot in US history.
The 24-year-old was reportedly "struggling" to keep his bank account at $1,000 when his luck changed and he clinched the winning ticket.
But scooping up hundreds of millions wasn't all fun and games for Franco, whose paranoia stopped him from cashing his prize until weeks after he discovered he won.
Believe it or not, lottery winners are often unhappy with all that money. Just ask Jane Park...
The Wisconsin man walked into a New Berlin petrol station on March 27 and bought $10 worth of Quick Pick tickets on a whim – because he "pretty much felt lucky," he said at a news conference.
The next day, he looked through his tickets and had almost given up hope when he noticed one was stuck to another. This was the winning ticket that made him a multi-millionaire who likely never has to work again.
Describing his reaction, the West Allis resident said he went "insane", stating: "It was amazing. My heart started racing, my blood started pumping, I felt warm. I started screaming for about five or 10 minutes."
However, it didn't take long for the lottery winner - who has been playing Powerball since he was 18 - to become nervous about his triumph.
Feeling like "the whole world" was "after" him, he decided to stash the golden ticket in a safe inside his home.
"I got that paranoia when you think the whole world is after you," he said. "I thought there was somebody behind me every single day. It’s hard living your life when you have the ticket everybody wants."
But, almost a month later, on Tuesday, April 23, Franco decided not to hide anymore and revealed himself to the world as the winner. At a Wisconsin Lottery news conference, he was handed his giant check, surrounded by balloons and a cow mascot wearing a dress.
The 24-year-old refused to reveal many details about himself at the conference, deflecting questions such as what he did for a living and what kind of car he drives. He added that he was "ready" to "say no to random people" who hound him for money.
He did, however, admit that he had quit his job two days after winning, saying he just couldn't continue. "After I knew that I won, I honestly couldn’t work," he said.