First Mega Millions Winner Identified
The Mega Millions $656 million jackpot took the media by storm, making headlines in international newspapers and creating record-breaking buzz online. Now, more than a week past the draw-date, those following the search for the three Mega Millions jackpot winners are frustrated by the reported rumors and speculations about the winners from Kansas, Maryland, and Illinois.
The Mega Millions jackpot winner from Kansas collected his third of the prize from the lottery’s Topeka, Kansas headquarters last Friday morning, April 6th. The winner, who chose to remain anonymous, was the single ticket-holder and the state’s biggest jackpot winner. The nameless winner purchased the ticket at a Casey’s General Store in Ottawa, 40 miles southeast of Topeka. The winner chose to collect the winnings in a single lump sum cash payment of nearly $158 million, $110.5 million after taxes.
The Kansas winner did not know that they were holding a winning lottery ticket until checking online last Monday, three days after the Mega Millions drawing. Kansas Lottery officials state that the winner is looking forward to retirement and is still in awe of the jackpot win.
In Downstate Red Bud, Illinois, population 3,700, there is no news from the town’s Mega Millions jackpot winner. Illinois state law allows their winners a year to claim their prize.
At the same time, there are rumors flying about Mirlande Wilson, a 37-year old, single mother of 7, who claims she bought the winning lotto ticket from Maryland. Wilson now claims that she cannot find that slip worth $218 million. If Wilson does produce the winning ticket, she will have to put up a fight against her McDonald’s coworkers, who claim that the ticket had been purchased collectively as part of a lottery pool and that the profits must be shared equally.
While Wilson’s alleged story is more exciting than the anonymous Kansas winner, it is remains in the realm of the purely speculative. In the words of Carole Everett, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery, “Until they walk in that door, hold that ticket, produce valid identification and our security people can process and validate it, it doesn’t matter.”
The clock is ticking for the remaining Mega Millions winners. The Illinois winner has one year to come forward and collect their prize, but the Maryland winner only has 182 days from the official drawing. If the unimaginable happens and the tickets go unclaimed, all profits will be donated to the states’ charities.