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Maryland Mega Millions winners claim prize anonymously

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Maryland Mega Millions winners claim prize anonymously
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Three public school employees nab share of record jackpot

Includes video report

By Todd Northrop

The Maryland Mega Millions lottery winners are three Maryland public school employees, who split the world's biggest lottery jackpot with two other winners from Kansas and Illinois.

The trio claimed their share of the jackpot Monday at Maryland Lottery headquarters.

Maryland laws allow lottery winners to remain anonymous when collecting their prize, and the winners chose that option in this case.

Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino said the employees will each receive $34.997 million after taxes.  They had purchased a total of 60 tickets at three different locations throughout the state, or a total investment of $20 per person.

"It is the first time that the three friends have pooled their money together," Martino said.

The three winners are a woman in her 20s, another in her 50s, and a man in his 40s.  One employee is an elementary school teacher, another is a special education instructor and the third works in an administrative role.  Two have other part-time jobs.

The youngest of the group held onto the tickets and checked them immediately following the drawing.  "I had all 60 tickets spread across my floor," she said.  "Once I realized one was a winner, I called my two friends right away."

"That evening, I forgot about the drawing and went to sleep," said one winner.  "It was around 11:30 p.m., and my phone just kept ringing and ringing.  I finally decided to answer it, thinking something was wrong."  Once she picked up, the two other winners were on the phone and said, "Get dressed. We're coming over right now."

After discussing the win, the threesome came up with a plan.  "We made copies of the ticket, and we each signed the copies," said one of the women.  "At 1 a.m., I took the ticket and drove to my mother's house to put it in her safe.  I didn't even take time to pack any clothes — I just drove."

When the group arrived at lottery headquarters Monday, Martino said one of the winners took a small white envelope of out of her purse that contained the winning Mega Millions ticket. The winners had made three copies of the ticket and each signed the copies, he said.

The actual ticket wasn't signed by all three winners until Monday at the lottery's conference room table, Martino said. The ticket was then handed over to lottery security and its authenticity was verified, he said.

The winners' future plans all include new homes.  One also plans to take a backpacking trip through Europe, while another will pay for his daughter's college education, Martino said.  A third winner will tour Italy's wine country, he said.

"Most importantly," one winner said, "we're going to be careful with how the money is spent.  I watched coverage of the jackpot win on television all week, just so I could listen to the financial advice the professionals were offering."

All three have indicated they intend to remain employees within Maryland's public school system.

"They were modest, and humbled," said Martino. "These are precisely the people you would want to see win the lottery."

A total of three winning tickets were sold across the country for the $656 million March 30 Mega Millions drawing matching the winning numbers 2, 4, 23, 38, and 46, with Mega Ball number 23.

Speculation about a Maryland ticket reached fever pitch last week when a Maryland woman, Mirlande Wilson, 37, said she had the ticket, then alternately claimed she had lost it and had hidden it inside the McDonald's restaurant where she works.  Her attorney, who admitted he couldn't back up her story, said she wanted to be left alone.

As many suspected, the story was a hoax.  Lord knows why people do these things, but the woman fabricated the whole thing.

The anonymous winners bought the winning ticket at a 7-Eleven store in Milford Mill outside Baltimore.  The retailer will receive a $100,000 agent bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Lottery officials increased the final jackpot to $656 million after tallying sales from the 44 lotteries that offer Mega Millions.  The jackpot was the biggest in Mega Millions history and the three winners — one in Maryland, Illinois and Kansas — will each get more than $218 million before taxes.

Kansas' winner also decided to remain anonymous.  (See Kansas Mega Millions winner claims jackpot anonymously, Lottery Post, Apr. 6, 2012.)

The Illinois winner has yet to come forward to claim the prize.

RAW VIDEO: Watch the Maryland Lottery press conference

BY0DHBCywLE

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Lottery Post Staff

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138 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by pick4master.
Page 1 of 10

United States
Member #111442
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 10, 2012, 8:36 am - IP Logged

Congrats "real" winners!!!  Party

    NoShame's avatar - Lottery-030.jpg
    Indiana
    United States
    Member #104853
    January 21, 2011
    159 Posts
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    Posted: April 10, 2012, 8:42 am - IP Logged

    Just as I thought.

    More than likely what happened to Mirlande Wilson was that she thought she won without checking her numbers, preached it to the world, found out she didn't win, and had to claim she lost the ticket to hide the humiliation.

    Obviously a first time lottery player.


      United States
      Member #111442
      May 25, 2011
      6323 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 10, 2012, 8:44 am - IP Logged

      One of the pool members had laid out all sixty tickets on the floor as live TV results came in, and was totally shocked to see that one ticket

      had all the numbers. When one member was contacted at 1:00AM in the morning, they thought an early April fools joke was being played.!!!

      Jack-in-the-Box

      They did everything "right", and this was the first time they had ever formed a pool together. Talk about beginners luck!   Yes Nod   Eek    Crazy

        Mil$Winner!'s avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
        New Member
        Virginia
        United States
        Member #102706
        December 24, 2010
        20 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 10, 2012, 8:49 am - IP Logged

        CONGRATULATIONS to the winners!!!

         

        Glad that the money is going to some relatively drama free claimants...

         

        Party

        Let the good times roll!

          Avatar
          Idaho
          United States
          Member #76087
          June 18, 2009
          859 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 10, 2012, 8:58 am - IP Logged

          Finally, this story has a happy ending!  This is great to hear.

          La Maga Della Spaziometria

            dpoly1's avatar - driver
            PA
            United States
            Member #66141
            October 16, 2008
            1672 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 10, 2012, 8:59 am - IP Logged

            Congrats to the winners!

            They seen like nice people!

            We finally know where the "McDonalds" lady lost her ticket ......... it fell onto one of the 3 amigos kitchen table somehow!  Thud

            The next jackpot stop is the 'dale in PA! I am not allowed to claim via blind trust in PA, so I will form a RLT after I claim the money so that the name of the trust is not in the media!

            Dance







            1

            dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

             

            Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #1
              May 31, 2000
              23267 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 10, 2012, 8:59 am - IP Logged

              I've updated the story significantly with additional information and quotes from the winners.

               

              Check the State Lottery Report Card
              What grade did your lottery earn?

               

              Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
              Help eliminate computerized drawings!


                United States
                Member #111442
                May 25, 2011
                6323 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: April 10, 2012, 9:01 am - IP Logged

                I've updated the story significantly with additional information and quotes from the winners.

                Thanks Todd!

                  rock_nc's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg
                  small town USA
                  United States
                  Member #2481
                  October 8, 2003
                  224 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 10, 2012, 9:02 am - IP Logged

                  well i'm be,teachers winning the lottery. good for them! now they can retire and live the good life with 34 million dollars, will go a long way. congrats to them,spend it wisely. wish i could have had won a piece of it,but my tickets did'nt have any numbers matching....O well maybe next time......

                    CDanaT's avatar - tiger avatar_04_hd_pictures_169016.jpg
                    TX
                    United States
                    Member #121193
                    January 4, 2012
                    1637 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 10, 2012, 9:15 am - IP Logged

                    Congrats to the teachers and their respective families. I truly hope their lives are comfortably lived and all their travel plans are enjoyed. Pretty smart to remain anonymous, although there is enough information in the above to have more inquiries by various persons............................ Thanks for the great story Todd.....

                    Stay Positive, Believe and good things will come your way

                      Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                      S.E.Iowa
                      United States
                      Member #120504
                      December 21, 2011
                      534 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: April 10, 2012, 9:17 am - IP Logged

                      well i'm be,teachers winning the lottery. good for them! now they can retire and live the good life with 34 million dollars, will go a long way. congrats to them,spend it wisely. wish i could have had won a piece of it,but my tickets did'nt have any numbers matching....O well maybe next time......

                      They all said that they are going to keep their jobs.Yeah,right!Maybe until the end of the school year.

                      When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

                      There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

                        CDanaT's avatar - tiger avatar_04_hd_pictures_169016.jpg
                        TX
                        United States
                        Member #121193
                        January 4, 2012
                        1637 Posts
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                        Posted: April 10, 2012, 9:33 am - IP Logged

                        They all said that they are going to keep their jobs.Yeah,right!Maybe until the end of the school year.

                        That would be tough to keep your job for another couple of months with 35 million sitting in your bank account. I honestly would have to do some deep soul searching on that one. But going to work with that kind of money ??  I am quit sure I could put a smile on my face and be tolerant of any group of kids for another 8 weeks.

                        Stay Positive, Believe and good things will come your way

                          dk1421's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
                          North Carolina
                          United States
                          Member #64582
                          September 1, 2008
                          347 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: April 10, 2012, 9:34 am - IP Logged

                          Truly, congrats to them! They did everything correct - copying the ticket, signing the back, going anonymous. 

                          Ironically, I almost bought tickets with 2 other friends - one of us is in our 20's, one is in our 30's, and the other is in their 40's - just like them! And we all have other jobs, in addition to the one we all work at. However, I was worried about buying us all tickets, while buying my own too. I didn't want what happened at McDonald's to happen to us. So I didn't approach them for us to all go in together. Hmmm.... maybe if I had.....

                          "Don't be a schmuck, always take the cash." -Coin Toss

                            Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                            Clarksville
                            United States
                            Member #487
                            July 15, 2002
                            17638 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: April 10, 2012, 9:38 am - IP Logged

                            They all said that they are going to keep their jobs.Yeah,right!Maybe until the end of the school year.

                            I agree with you.  A school system is the worse place to try to keep a secret.  I bet the kids already know who won and where they live. 

                            If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                            You never know when you will get another hit.