Maryland Mega Millions winner already in pool dispute

Apr 2, 2012, 9:59 am (106 comments)

Mega Millions

Says $105M is all hers; McDonald's workers say it's theirs

Mega Millions mania has plunged a Maryland McDonald's into a bubbling cauldron of controversy hotter than a deep-fried apple pie.

Workers at the fast-food joint who pooled their cash for tickets are furious at a colleague who claims she won with a ticket she bought for herself and has no intention of sharing.

"We had a group plan, but I went and played by myself. [The 'winning' ticket] wasn't on the group plan," McDonald's "winner" Mirlande Wilson 37, told The Post yesterday, insisting she alone bought one of the three tickets nationwide that will split a record $656 million payout.

"I was in the group, but this was separate. The winning ticket was a separate ticket," the single mother of seven said as she and her fiancé left her home in the squalid Westport neighborhood to attend church.

The Haitian immigrant refused to show what she said was the winning ticket, claiming she had it hidden in another location and would present it to lottery officials today.

Pressed as the day went on, she became more cagey.

"I don't know if I won. Some of the numbers were familiar. I recognized some of [them]," she said. "I don't know why" people are saying differently. "I'm going to go to the lottery office [today]. I bought some tickets separately."

With winning tickets also sold in Illinois and Kansas, a single Maryland winner would get an after-tax lump sum of $105 million, or $5.59 million a year for 26 years.

If Wilson won, and if it was with a pooled work ticket, the situation would be shockingly similar to that of New Jersey lottery louse Americo Lopes, who tried to screw five former colleagues after hitting a $24 million jackpot before a jury ordered him to spread the wealth.

Wilson's co-workers — who make little more than $7.50 an hour — are sizzling with anger over the notion.

"She can' t do this to us!" said Suleiman Osman Husein, a shift manager and one of 15 members in the pool. "We each paid $5. She took everybody's money!"

A man identifying himself as the boyfriend of a McDonald's manager named Layla, who was part of the pool, said Wilson bought tickets for the group at the 7-Eleven in Milford Mill, where the winning ticket was sold.

The group's tickets — along with a list of those who contributed to the pool — were left in an office safe at the burger joint, said the man, who gave only his first name, Allen, as he stood next to Layla. She declined to comment.

Then, late Friday, before the night's drawing, the owner of the McDonald's, Birul Desai, gave Wilson $5 to buy more tickets for the pool on her way home from work, and she went back to the 7-Eleven and bought them, Allen said.

Wilson took those tickets home with her, Allen said.

But Wilson insisted yesterday that she had bought the second batch with an unidentified pal — not for the pool — and that the winning ticket was among them.

A day earlier, a delirious Wilson had called co-workers to break the news — tellingly used the first-person singular.

"I won! I won!" she cried, Allen said.

Another colleague, Davon Wilson, no relation, said he was there when Mirlande Wilson called.

"She said, 'Turn on the news.' She said she had won. I thought it was a joke or something. She doesn't seem like a person who'd do this," he said.

Allan said he and Layla went to Wilson's home and pounded on the door for 20 minutes until she finally came out.

"These people are going to kill you. It's not worth your life!" Allen said he told her.

"All right! All right! I'll share, but I can't find the ticket right now," she finally said, according to Allen.

Yohannes Michael, a clerk at the 7-Eleven where Wilson bought the tickets, expressed doubts about her story when he said yesterday that lottery officials have reviewed the store's video and believe that a man bought the winning ticket. Lottery rep Carole Everett would not confirm that.

Reached at his Fairfax, Va., home, Desai, the McDonald's owner, declined to comment except to say, "It's all bulls--t, if you ask me. It's speculation."

News story photo(Click to display in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display in gallery)

NY Post

Comments

dpoly1's avatardpoly1

Never ever play in a LOTTERY POOL!

If you want to play in a pool, purchase one after you win!

She had the option to be anonymous!

Nikkicute

Just like the story of the women who wanted her husbands lottery money only to find out he did

not win, I will treat this story the same. Until she turns in the ticket with the winning numbers I

won't believe a word of this, they never should have printed this story in the first place!!

mnsweeps

I always play in a small pool and I am the pool caption. I buy the tickets and scan and email it to the group. That way there is a timestamp and everyone knows the ticket numbers. I can buy as much as I want on my own ...No issues there..

New York's avatarNew York

Oh boy, here come's another dispute over who gets the wealth. If that lady, won, she should get stripped of her money because she's acting GREEDY like a mother (watch your mouth)

SergeM's avatarSergeM

Quote: Originally posted by dpoly1 on Apr 2, 2012

Never ever play in a LOTTERY POOL!

If you want to play in a pool, purchase one after you win!

She had the option to be anonymous!

I organized pools. Too often the pool organizer is blamed.

JAP69's avatarJAP69

It seems that a lot of legal disputes involve the sole winner of the prize claim they purchased the winning ticket for them self when they were the designated person to buy the tickets for the pool.

What are the odds of that?

mcginnin56

Quote: Originally posted by JAP69 on Apr 2, 2012

It seems that a lot of legal disputes involve the sole winner of the prize claim they purchased the winning ticket for them self when they were the designated person to buy the tickets for the pool.

What are the odds of that?

Better than average I would say.   Yes Nod

Mil$Winner!'s avatarMil$Winner!

Elaborate April Fool's Joke perhaps...

mcginnin56

Quote: Originally posted by Mil$Winner! on Apr 2, 2012

Elaborate April Fool's Joke perhaps...

On a much larger scale than normal. That would be the ultimate April Fool's Joke.  LOL

LottoGuyBC's avatarLottoGuyBC

Quote: Originally posted by dpoly1 on Apr 2, 2012

Never ever play in a LOTTERY POOL!

If you want to play in a pool, purchase one after you win!

She had the option to be anonymous!

I Agree!  I say NO to the Lottery Pool @ work

JoeBigLotto's avatarJoeBigLotto

I think she has to share it .its a mcdonald happy $1 meal for christ sake. If she doesn't they should put her in deep frier well done extra crispy to go.lol even mcdonald clown is crying now for this crap that could have been  good publicity.That's my best opinion.thank you all

New York's avatarNew York

Man F that shiz. She didn't win anything. She just messing with our heads saying she has the ticket when in reality she doesn't.

Todd's avatarTodd

According to the MD Lottery, the winning ticket in Maryland was a single Quick Pick - not a $5 ticket.  So I'm not sure how much of this story is true.  We'll just have to keep following it.  Sometimes these things have turned out to be false in the past.

New York's avatarNew York

Quote: Originally posted by Todd on Apr 2, 2012

According to the MD Lottery, the winning ticket in Maryland was a single Quick Pick - not a $5 ticket.  So I'm not sure how much of this story is true.  We'll just have to keep following it.  Sometimes these things have turned out to be false in the past.

Yeah, absolutely. This story is really bogus, imo. We'll just have to keep following but I'm pretty sure that she does not have anything. She seemed so uncerain saying the numbers look familiar. Well, that just doesn't cut it. Sometimes the media overexaggerates things.

 

(excuse my spelling, tired to proof-read)

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