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What happened to Manuel Franco lottery winner?

Manuel Franco, a 24-year-old Wisconsin man, hit the jackpot when he won a $768 million Powerball lottery in March 2019. Franco came forward to claim the third largest lottery prize in U.S. history, sparking interest in his background and plans for the windfall.

Who is Manuel Franco?

Manuel Franco is a 24-year-old Wisconsin man who was working as a production worker at a local steel factory before winning the lottery. He lived in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis and kept a relatively low profile before winning the prize.

Franco was described by friends and co-workers as a hardworking, humble young man. He immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico as a child and has lived in Wisconsin since. He still resided in West Allis as of 2021.

How did Manuel Franco win the lottery?

On March 27, 2019, Manuel Franco purchased a Quick Pick ticket for the Powerball lottery at a Speedway gas station in New Berlin, Wisconsin. The ticket matched all six numbers in the $768 million Powerball drawing that night – the winning numbers were 16, 20, 37, 44, 62, and the Powerball number was 12.

Franco was the sole winner of the jackpot prize, the third largest in U.S. lottery history at the time. The full cash payout amount was $477 million before taxes.

What was Manuel Franco’s reaction to winning?

Franco did not immediately realize he had won the jackpot prize. He left his winning ticket sitting on his kitchen table for weeks until he heard on the news there was a winner in Wisconsin. After checking his numbers and realizing he had won, Franco was in shock.

When Franco claimed his prize in April 2019, he told reporters his “heart started racing” and his blood pressure went up when he realized he won. He called the experience “surreal” but said he hoped to live as normal a life as possible after winning.

What did Manuel Franco do after winning the lottery?

After winning the $768 million Powerball jackpot, Manuel Franco did the following:

  • Claimed the lump sum cash payout of $477 million before taxes at the Wisconsin Lottery headquarters
  • Hired legal and financial advisors to help manage his newfound wealth
  • Remained living in West Allis, Wisconsin near family and friends
  • Kept working at his job for a few weeks before quitting
  • Bought a used truck to replace his old vehicle
  • Traveled to a few places like Mexico and Europe
  • Kept a low profile and tried to live relatively normally

Franco did not immediately quit his job or make any big lifestyle changes after winning, aside from some new travel. He has avoided public attention and for the most part maintained his same modest lifestyle.

How did Manuel Franco claim his lottery prize?

On April 23, 2019, Manuel Franco presented his winning Powerball ticket at the Wisconsin Lottery headquarters in Madison to claim his prize. Lottery officials verified the ticket was the sole jackpot winner.

Wisconsin law allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, but Franco decided to come forward publicly to claim the prize. He appeared at a news conference with his lawyer and financial advisor team to claim the cash payout of $477 million.

Lottery winners in Wisconsin do not need to be publically identified, but Franco revealed his identity to prove the ticket was claimed properly. He was presented with a giant check at the ceremony.

What did Manuel Franco do with his lottery winnings?

Manuel Franco has kept most details private about what exactly he has done with his $477 million lottery prize. However, here are some ways he is believed to have used the money so far:

  • Paid off student loans and other existing debts
  • Helped family members with bills, mortgages, etc.
  • Hired a legal and financial advisory team
  • Invested in trusts, bonds, index funds, and real estate
  • Bought a new (used) truck
  • Traveled to places like Mexico and Europe
  • Donated to local charities and community causes
  • Paid taxes – about $38 million to the federal government and $15 million to Wisconsin

Franco has indicated his goal is to live a relatively normal life and use the money responsibly. He does not appear to have made any flashy major purchases or lifestyle changes so far.

What happened to the winning lottery ticket?

After claiming his $768 million Powerball prize, Manuel Franco’s winning Quick Pick lottery ticket was returned to him by Wisconsin Lottery officials. Franco had kept the ticket stored safely at home before coming forward.

As the rightful owner, Franco was given back the ticket after it was verified as the sole jackpot winner. He has not revealed what he ultimately did with the winning slip of paper.

It is likely Franco has preserved and stored the ticket in a secure place like a safe deposit box. Some lottery winners choose to frame and display their winning tickets, while others prefer to keep them private.

Did Manuel Franco keep his job?

Initially after winning the lottery, Manuel Franco continued working at his production job at a local steel factory for a couple weeks before quitting. He has said he enjoyed his job and co-workers, so wanted to help transition his workload before leaving the position.

Franco did ultimately quit his factory job, as most lottery winners do. He has not indicated pursuing any new job or career path since winning the jackpot prize in 2019.

Where is Manuel Franco now?

As of late 2021, Manuel Franco was still living in the West Allis, Wisconsin area where he has resided since immigrating to the U.S. as a child. Despite his enormous lottery win, Franco has chosen to remain in his hometown community close to family and friends.

Franco has maintained a low profile since winning the jackpot in 2019. He has avoided media attention and not taken any steps to live an extravagant celebrity-type lifestyle.

While he has certainly used his lottery winnings to help family and donate to charity, Franco himself has remained living relatively modestly in Wisconsin.

Has Manuel Franco run into any problems from winning the lottery?

For the most part, Manuel Franco appears to have avoided major problems after winning his huge Powerball jackpot. By avoiding public attention and maintaining a low profile lifestyle, he has steered clear of some issues that plague other lottery winners.

However, in 2021 Franco did have a legal issue arise related to his lottery win. A lawsuit was filed against Franco by a man who claimed he agreed to split lottery winnings with Franco before the jackpot ticket was purchased. The man said he and Franco had been buying tickets together for years.

Franco’s legal team disputed the man’s claims and denied there was any agreement he would share in Franco’s $768 million prize. The lawsuit was still pending as of late 2021.

What has Manuel Franco said about winning the lottery?

Manuel Franco has avoided the spotlight after winning his massive Powerball jackpot, only speaking briefly at his prize claim ceremony in 2019. At the event, Franco remarked:

  • “I’m sure you’ll understand that this is a big time in my life. There will be plenty of time and plenty of opportunities for me to share my story and meet the public in my community in the future, but today I want to address the media with a few brief comments.”
  • “I realize this is a huge story, but the impact this money will have on my life…will be immediate and I’m looking forward to seeing the impact this money will have on my community.”
  • “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can make for a comfortable, safe life surrounded by those you love most.”
  • “I’m a humble young man. I don’t come from a lot of money. I want to use this money to bless those around me.”

Franco has otherwise avoided discussing details of his lottery win and his plans for the future since claiming the $768 million prize.

How much did Manuel Franco actually take home?

The total Powerball jackpot won by Manuel Franco in March 2019 was an annuitized amount of $768 million. However, Franco opted for the cash lump sum payout which was $477 million before taxes.

After federal and state taxes, Franco’s take-home amount from the jackpot was estimated to be around:

Powerball Jackpot $768 million
Cash Lump Sum (pre-tax) $477 million
Federal Taxes (37% rate) – $177 million
Wisconsin State Taxes (7.65% rate) – $36 million
Approx. Take Home Amount $264 million

So after accounting for almost $213 million in taxes, Manuel Franco appears to have taken home around $264 million in actual lottery winnings.

How much did Manuel Franco pay in taxes on his winnings?

Manuel Franco had to pay federal and Wisconsin state taxes on his Powerball lottery winnings. This included:

  • Federal taxes – Franco paid an estimated $177 million, or about 37% of the $477 million lump sum cash payout.
  • State taxes – Franco had to pay Wisconsin state income taxes on his prize money, estimated at $36 million or 7.65% of the cash payout.

In total, taxes accounted for about $213 million of Franco’s lottery prize. Million-dollar lottery winners pay some of the highest tax rates, up to 40% federally plus any applicable state taxes.

How old was Manuel Franco when he won the lottery?

Manuel Franco was 24 years old when he won the $768 million Powerball jackpot in March 2019. He was likely one of the youngest lottery winners of a jackpot prize of that magnitude.

Franco’s young age at just 24 when he won meant he did not have to wait long to access to his lottery winnings. Lottery winners can claim prizes at age 18 in most states.

What has the lottery win meant for Manuel Franco’s family and friends?

Although he has avoided public attention, Manuel Franco’s massive lottery win has likely had a significant positive impact on his family members and close friends. It is believed Franco has used some of his winnings to:

  • Pay off debts and bills for parents, siblings, and relatives
  • Purchase new homes and vehicles for family members
  • Set up college funds for nieces and nephews
  • Help friends pay off student loans, mortgages, and other debts

While Franco still lives modestly himself, he is thought to have provided his inner circle with major financial help and stability after winning the $768 million jackpot.

Did Manuel Franco share his lottery winnings with family?

Although he has not publicly disclosed details, it is widely believed that Manuel Franco did share some of his Powerball winnings with family members. This likely included:

  • Paying off debts and bills for parents and siblings
  • Buying new homes for his parents and other relatives
  • Setting up college savings funds for nieces and nephews
  • Helping extended family members with medical bills, mortgages, and other expenses

This type of financial assistance for family is common among lottery winners, especially those who come from more modest backgrounds like Franco. Family sharing minimizes potential requests for handouts.

What charities has Manuel Franco supported with his lottery winnings?

Manuel Franco has not publicly disclosed all of his charitable giving since winning the lottery. However, some local donations Franco is known to have made include:

  • $50,000 to the West Allis Masonic Center, where he was a member
  • Donations to local school programs, libraries, and parks in West Allis
  • Contributions to Wisconsin groups that support immigrant rights
  • Donations to local churches, homeless shelters, and humanitarian aid groups

Franco has focused his giving on local community causes in West Allis and the Milwaukee area. He has not announced any high-profile national charitable initiatives so far.

What types of charities has Manuel Franco donated to?

Based on known information, Manuel Franco’s charitable donations from his lottery winnings have gone primarily to local community causes, including:

  • Education – Donations to schools, libraries, scholarships, and youth programs
  • Humanitarian Aid – Local groups providing food, shelter, and emergency assistance
  • Immigrant Support – Organizations helping immigrant communities in Wisconsin
  • Community Spaces – Upgrades to parks, community centers, Masonic halls, etc.

Franco has focused on grassroots charities rather than large national organizations. He also tends to support local causes relevant to his background as an immigrant from Mexico.

How did winning the lottery change Manuel Franco’s life?

In some ways, winning a $768 million Powerball jackpot has not changed Manuel Franco’s life as dramatically as one might expect. He has said he still hopes to live a “normal” life and remain part of his local community.

However, certainly Franco’s life has changed in major ways including:

  • No longer needing to work or worry about money
  • Ability to travel much more extensively
  • Financial security for the rest of his life
  • Philanthropic opportunities to support various causes
  • Increased privacy concerns and solicitations from others

Overall, while Franco maintains a relatively modest lifestyle, the lottery win has opened up more choices for where he lives, how he spends his time, and the ability to help others.

What did Manuel Franco splurge on after winning the lottery?

Unlike some lottery winners who make lavish luxury purchases with their prize money, Manuel Franco has not revealed any major personal splurges since winning $768 million.

Based on limited public information, some ways Franco may have spent small amounts on himself include:

  • A more expensive used truck to replace his old vehicle
  • Upgrades to his modest West Allis home
  • Nice vacations for the first time, like to Europe
  • Gifts and meals for close family and friends

However, Franco does not appear to have splurged on things like expensive sports cars, jewelry, or mansions. He has maintained a relatively frugal lifestyle apart from some new travel opportunities.


Manuel Franco shocked his small Wisconsin community when he was revealed as the winner of a $768 million Powerball jackpot in 2019. The then 24-year old continued working at his factory job briefly before claiming a lump sum prize of $477 million.

Despite his instant wealth, Franco has maintained a humble, low-key lifestyle since winning the lottery. He continues living in West Allis, Wisconsin and has used his winnings to help family, friends, and the local community. Franco serves as an example that massive lottery success does not have to change one’s roots or values.