A health care worker from a town in Massachusetts

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A health care worker from a town in Massachusetts has quit the hospital job she held for 32 years after learning she won the the largest Powerball prize for a single ticket-holder in the contest’s North American history.

Lottery officials on Thursday identified the 53-year-old woman, who lives in Chicopee, as the winner of more than $US750 million (around $950 million) in a Powerball drawing.

The Massachusetts woman who won the massive US$758.7 million Powerball jackpot has quit her job at the hospital where she worked for three decades and says she wants to relax.

The woman, Mavis Wanczyk, appeared at an afternoon news conference to claim her prize.

“I wanted to get this over and done with, and then everyone would leave me alone,” Ms Wanczyk, the mother of a 31-year-old daughter and a 26-year-old son, told reporters on Thursday. She said she had worked for the past 32 years at a Springfield hospital, but added: “I’ve called them and told them I will not be coming back.”

Mavis Wanczyk, smiles during a news conference where she claimed the massive prize.
Mavis Wanczyk, smiles during a news conference where she claimed the massive prize.

Powerball said on its website that the single ticket matched all six numbers drawn on Wednesday night: 6, 7, 16, 23, 26 and the Powerball of 4.

Ms Wanczyk said she learned of her win when a colleague encouraged her to check her ticket as she left work on Wednesday.

“I said: ‘I know it’s never going to be me; it’s just a pipe dream,'” Ms Wanczyk said, adding that she was shocked to find “I am a winner.”

The winning ticket was sold at a Pride convenience store in Chicopee, which is located about 145 km west of Boston, according to the Massachusetts State Lottery. The owner of that store plans to donate to charity the $US50,000 prize he will receive for selling the winning ticket, the commission’s executive director, Michael Sweeney, told reporters.

Wanczyk stands by a poster of her winnings.
Wanczyk stands by a poster of her winnings.

Wanczyk will have a choice of receiving annual payments totaling $US758.7 million over 29 years, or a lump sum of more than $US440 million ($556 million), before taxes.

Beyond retiring early, she did not say how she planned to spend her winnings.

A cashier makes a sale at the Pride Station & Store which sold the winning ticket.
A cashier makes a sale at the Pride Station & Store which sold the winning ticket.

The odds of a ticket having all six winning numbers are 292.2 million to 1, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

No one had won the Powerball’s top prize in the twice-weekly drawings since June 10, when a California man won $US447.8 million ($556 million).