Manuel Franco, the 24-year-old Wisconsin resident who won the $768.4 million Powerball jackpot in March, came forward to claim the massive prize this week – and is taking time to carefully plan what he will do with his new-found wealth.
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“I’m sure you’ll never see me as one of the people who went bankrupt, went broke, anything like that,” Franco said in a press conference with reporters on Tuesday. “I plan to live my life normal, as much as possible.”
He suggested he might go out and buy some “fancy stuff” but “nothing too big,” and said his dream has been to travel the world.
Franco, who described himself as an ordinary guy, said he left his job two days after realizing he had won, and plans on taking “a break” to figure out what he wants to do with his millions. He said he wants to “help the world” but wants to be financially “responsible” – making sure his future is secure, too.
“I’m not sure what the next chapter is going to bring for my life,” the young Wisconsinite admitted.
Franco won the third-largest jackpot in U.S. history. He opted to take the lump sum, which was valued at $477 million. After taxes, Franco will walk home with about $264 million.
To help him manage his finances, Franco said he has been setting up the best financial and legal teams that he possibly can.
When he first realized he won, Franco said he got that “paranoia” thinking the whole world was after him.
The newly minted millennial millionaire said that he has been playing the Powerball since he was first able to – buying a ticket on his 18th birthday. He said he typically spent $10 per week on tickets, though he doesn’t plan on playing anymore.
Franco said when he bought his ticket on the way home from work he just had that “lucky feeling.”
"I looked at [the winning ticket] one number at a time," Franco told reporters. "I was going insane pretty much ... it was amazing, my heart started racing, blood pumping, my blood felt warm. I screamed for about five or 10 minutes."