Jackpot win eclipses wealth of some celebs

Ms Mavis Wanczyk gets to take home about US$336 million (S$457 million), making her richer than Taylor Swift.
Ms Mavis Wanczyk gets to take home about US$336 million (S$457 million), making her richer than Taylor Swift.

NEW YORK • You already know that the Powerball jackpot Ms Mavis Wanczyk won this week was the largest single lottery prize in North America. You already know it was US$758 million (S$1 billion). But do you really know how big it was?

Put it this way: It is more than the combined net worth of Ms Ivanka Trump and Mr Jared Kushner.

Ms Wanczyk, 53, a healthcare worker, will not see most of that money. She chose a lump-sum payment over an annuity, which lowers the total to US$480.5 million. Then there are taxes: 25 per cent to the federal government and 5 per cent to her state, Massachusetts. That leaves her with about US$336 million to take home.

Who cares? She is almost as rich as Katy Perry and Matthew Perry combined.

She immediately quit her job of 32 years. "I've called and told them I will not be coming back," she told reporters, to raucous laughter.

Granted, the history of lotteries is littered with cautionary tales. Murder. Alcoholism. Huge spending sprees, then bankruptcy.

But you do not need to focus on that. Ms Wanczyk seems pretty happy right now, and who can blame her? She is now richer than Taylor Swift. Brad Pitt, too.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2017, with the headline 'Jackpot win eclipses wealth of some celebs'. Print Edition | Subscribe