When most people dream about winning the lottery, any amount that would help change their life would be great. Winning a record-breaking jackpot probably isn’t even on their radar.
However, there always has to be a winner even for the biggest prizes.
In this article, we’ll tell you all about one winner who might not have dreamed big, but won big nonetheless! Continue reading to learn about Powerball jackpot winner Mavis Wanczyk.
Who Is Mavis Wanczyk?
Mavis Wanczyk is a Massachusetts woman who came to national attention in 2017. She made headlines when she was the sole winner of a record-breaking Powerball jackpot.
Wanczyk was born in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and lived there until the age of 14. At that time, she moved with her parents to Springfield, before settling in Chicopee as an adult.
As a young adult, Mavis got married to William Wanczyk and had two children, one boy and one girl. Mavis remained married to William until the 1990s, when they decided to divorce.
Unfortunately, William passed away after from a car accident in 2016, just a year before Mavis’s life-changing win.
At the time of her win, Mavis was 52 years old and living in a modest two-bedroom apartment. She worked at Mercy Medical Center, where she’d held the same position for over 30 years.
By all accounts, Mavis Wanczyk led a normal, even mundane life until the moment the lottery changed everything.
How Much Money Did Mavis Wanczyk Win?
Mavis Wanczyk won the US Powerball jackpot on August 24th, 2017.
She shared with media that she had chosen her numbers based on birthdays and other important dates. As far as lottery strategies go, this is certainly a popular one.
While it obviously worked for Mavis, this strategy unfortunately does not affect a player’s odds of winning.
The winning numbers that Mavis chose were 6, 7, 16, 23, 26 and the Powerball number 4.
Mavis didn’t realise she won until she spoke with a friend, who shared news of the winning numbers with her.
Upon claiming her prize, Wanczyk immediately revealed her identity in the press. This is a decision she later came to regret, wishing she had taken the proper steps to claim it anonymously.
The jackpot for Mavis’s win was a staggering US $758 million. At the time, it was the biggest prize ever won by a single ticket holder in the US.
Mavis chose to receive her prize as a lump-sum payout as opposed to an annuity. This means she was actually awarded US $480 million.
After tax was deducted, Mavis took home a total of US $336 million, making her richer than most celebrities.
That amount of money obviously brought a lot of attention to Mavis.
The woman who once had a normal, unassuming life soon found herself hounded by press. Former friends and family members were also drawn by her wealth.
At one point shortly after her win, the police department even got involved, thinking she could be targeted for burglary.
As a result, the Chicopee Police Department increased patrols around Mavis’s neighbourhood for extra security.
After her win, Mavis admitted to being scared by the attention and simply wished to be left alone.
How Did Mavis Wanczyk Spend Her Money?
Many big lottery winners use their newfound wealth to splurge on items they previously could’ve only dreamed of owning.
Some take more practical approaches to spending by buying reasonable homes or vehicles. Some winners even start charitable foundations to give back to their community or launch new businesses.
Other winners use their prize money to live luxuriously or, like Michael Carrol, develop bad habits like drug use.
This is why many winners unfortunately end up bankrupt. They spend and spend until suddenly there’s nothing left.
Fortunately, it appears that Mavis took a more practical approach. At the time of her win, she told media that she simply wanted to relax and enjoy her new reality.
Aside from wanting to be left alone to figure out what she wanted, she also shared that she dreamed of retiring early.
So, she quit her job and that’s exactly what she did.
We’re sure there were some other nice purchases she made, but she never revealed them to media.
Where Is Mavis Wanczyk Now?
Despite the media frenzy that Mavis found herself in after her win, she has luckily managed to keep a low profile.
Unlike many other infamous lottery winners, she certainly hasn’t been in the news for any scandalous behaviour or poor decision-making.
It seems like Mavis finally got her wish and was left to enjoy her wealth in relative anonymity.
Is Mavis Wanczyk Giving Away Money?
While Mavis has managed to keep herself out of the news, people might still come across her name online.
Unfortunately, her win garnered enough attention at the time that scammers have latched onto it to try to trick people.
Ever since her win, scammers have used Mavis Wanczyk’s story to try to con unsuspecting people into giving them money.
The scam typically involves telling people that Mavis wants to share her lottery winnings with strangers.
All these strangers have to do is share some personal information with ‘Mavis’ and they will receive a small fortune.
In reality, these scammers who pose as Mavis use people’s personal information to take money from their accounts.
These scams usually pop up on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Fake accounts trying to run this scam have been reported as recently as June 2021.
If you notice these accounts or receive a message from one, do not interact with it. Definitely do not give out any personal information.
You can also report these scam accounts to either the social media platform or to local police.
While winning the lottery is a dream come true, the attention that comes with it can sometimes be a nightmare.
Though Mavis Wanczyk has mostly gotten her wish of being left alone to enjoy her life, her name is still recognized.
Unfortunately, the scams that use her name might never fully go away. But with over US $300 million to her name, we imagine she has better things to dwell on.