A struggling 24-year-old has admitted he felt paranoid as soon as he found out he’d won $768 million on the lottery.
I mean, you would, wouldn’t you. If I’d just found out I’d won such a life-changing amount of money, I’d be terrified I’d lose the ticket somehow.
Manuel Franco waited weeks to cash in his prize, eventually doing so on Tuesday (April 23) after fearing someone was after his winning ticket.
As reported by the New York Post, Franco, from West Allis, Wisconsin, walked into a 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.
Franco, who has been playing Powerball since he was 18, looked through his tickets while at work the next day and quickly began throwing away the losing ones.
After thinking he’d checked them all, he noticed one ticket was stuck to another and soon realised it was the winning ticket.
When he realised he’d won, he recalled:
It was amazing. My heart started racing, my blood started pumping, I felt warm. I started screaming for about five or 10 minutes.
Shortly afterwards, Franco began feeling nervous and so hid the winning ticket in a safe inside his home.
I got that paranoia when you think the whole world is after you. I thought there was somebody behind me every single day. It’s hard living your life when you have the ticket everybody wants.
The winner of the second-largest Powerball lottery in history, Franco quit his job two days after realising he was now rich, saying ‘after I knew that I won, I honestly couldn’t work’.
And let’s be honest, with that amount of money he probably won’t need to work another day in his life. Not that I’m jealous at all…
The multi-million dollar winner wouldn’t disclose what he did for a living, but said he usually struggled to keep his bank account at $1,000.
Franco says he now fully expects to get attention from random people in his life who will no doubt be requesting money from him.
However, he’s confident he knows how to deflect them, saying:
I’m ready, and I know how to say ‘no’ to random people.
Best of luck to Franco as he embarks upon this new adventure.
Now if you’ll just excuse me while I daydream about what I’d spend that amount of money on…
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).