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A Massachusetts woman claimed winning Powerball ticket worth $758.7M

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Updated August 24, 2017 05:14 PM EDT

A Massachusetts hospital worker claimed the largest single-ticket Powerball prize in U.S. history on Thursday.

Mavis L. Wanczyk, 53, discovered Wednesday night while leaving work at the Mercy Medical Center that she had won and told her employer she wouldn’t be going back to work.

"The first thing I want to do is just sit back and relax," Mavis L. Wanczyk told reporters at a news conference. "I called and told them I will not be coming back."

The winning ticket was purchased at the Pride Station & Store in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Wanczyk said winning the lottery has always been a "pipe dream."

Lottery officials reported that Wanczyk chose to take a lump sum payment of $480 million or $336 million after taxes.

Some online are congratulating the winner.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

A winning ticket for Powerball’s gigantic $758.7 million jackpot was selected in the lottery game’s latest drawing late Wednesday.

The Massachusetts State Lottery announced that evening that the “lone winner” had been sold at a Handy Variety convenience store in Watertown.

The lucky numbers from Wednesday night’s drawing are 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, with a Powerball number of 4.

The contest has drawings twice a week and is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Five white balls are taken from a drum containing 69 options and one red ball is picked from a separate drum containing 26 choices. Players can choose their numbers ahead of a drawing or let a computer make a randomized choice for them instead.

The odds of matching all six numbers are a longshot one in 292.2 million, regardless of the size of the ultimate prize.

Larger prizes draw more players, however, meaning more number combinations are selected and the probability of one or more individuals buying a winning stub rises. An individual’s chance at winning the contest never increases, but the odds that someone will win do increase.

Wednesday’s $758.7 million jackpot is second only to a $1.6 billion prize divided between three people in January 2016.

Powerball Product Group Chair Charlie McIntyre said in a statement Thursday that the $758.7 million pot is the largest won by a single lottery ticket in American history. There has not been a Powerball winner since June 10 as no one had yet matched the numbers before Wednesday.

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A victor results in the prize falling to $40 million as the starting point for its next drawing and then resuming its growth before lucky numbers emerge.

Wednesday’s jackpot refers to the annuity option, which will come in 30 installments over 29 years, rising 5 percent annually. The cash option, meanwhile, is $480.5 million due to federal and state income taxes on the prize.

People who take the cash prize have the advantage of investing it in hopes of a greater return than the guaranteed payments from an annuity.

Those who go that road, however, pay slightly more in taxes and lack the annual paychecks for decades they could otherwise expect.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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