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West Allis beams with pride after Powerball winner reveals himself

Posted at 6:16 PM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 20:13:56-04

The $768 million Powerball winner finally came forward Tuesday, claiming his prize in Madison.

He revealed himself as 24-year-old Manuel Franco of West Allis.

The jackpot ticket was sold at the Speedway off Beloit Road in New Berlin, and in the weeks since the drawing March 27, people were wondering who won.

“It wasn’t me, I checked my ticket,” West Allis resident John Mercer said.

Residents in New Berlin had some inklings.

“It could have been a neighbor. It could have been someone you know at my kid’s school,” New Berlin resident Laura Vitale said.

They were hopeful the winner was from their city. In fact, that’s what most people thought.

“I thought it was someone in New Berlin that had won it,” West Allis resident Laurel Edmonds said.

“We thought someone from New Berlin won, someone who lived close by there,” West Allis resident Juanita Cerna added.

Now that they know the winner is from West Allis, New Berlin residents including Pat Scheeler are disappointed.

“I wish it had been somebody from New Berlin, but I’m still glad somebody in Wisconsin won for a change,” Scheeler said.

On the other hand, those in West Allis are beaming with pride.

“It’s great that someone won in West Allis; that’s really great,” Cerna said.

“I could hit him up for a loan if I knew him,” Edmonds joked.

They are crossing their fingers Franco puts some of that prize money back into their community.

“I hope it’ll be good for the city. I think if I won I’d do something nice for the city, try and make it better,” Mercer said.

“Maybe it will bring a little of rejuvenation to West Allis. We need a little rejuvenation around here,” West Allis native Jean Berens added.

“I hope it’ll be good for the city. I think if I won I’d do something nice for the city, try and make it better.” — West Allis resident John Mercer

Many people in both cities are excited for the 24-year-old multimillionaire.

“I’m happy he’s young. He can retire,” Waukesha resident Katie Swanson said.

“Hopefully he’ll do some good with it,” Vitale added.

“He seems downright legit and well-deserving,” Waterford resident Brian Grzybowski said.

“I’m sure he’ll find a great place for it with his family and charities, and sounds like he’s going to put it to good use,” New Berlin resident Jeff Hagen said.

They just want to make sure he’s prepared for what’s to come.

“Good luck to him and congratulations. I hope he’s got good advisers because he’s going to need them,” Scheeler said.