It’s hard to believe that it was just last week when hopeful ticket holders anxiously watched the Mega Millions lottery drawing, fervently hoping they were holding the winning number combination. With a record jackpot of $656 million on the line, millions of tickets were purchased by anxious wannabe millionaires. After the drawing, tickets across the country were crumpled up and thrown in the trash when it was announced that there were three winners, one in Kansas, one in Illinois and one in Maryland. But then a funny thing happened: None of the winners have come forward.
Mirlande Wilson, of Baltimore, has claimed that she is in possession of a winning ticket that would entitle her to a $105 million portion of the prize. But Wilson, a single mother of seven who may or may not have purchased the ticket as part of a pool with her coworkers at a McDonald’s, has not yet presented the ticket to Maryland lottery officials. Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery, told NPR that no one has come forward to claim the ticket in that state, nor has anyone contacted the lottery. At a press conference, Martino advised the winner, Wilson or someone else entirely, to get a lawyer and an accountant, sign the back of the winning ticket and keep it in a safe place. But as reported by Fox News, Martino sounded as eager as everyone else to find answer. The winner has until Sept. 28 to come forward, Martino said.
The Washington Post reports that Wilson plans to contact lottery officials Monday to confirm her prize. As for the winners in Illinois and Kansas, they may just be laying low while making lists of how to spend their millions. “For a jackpot of this amount, it’s normal that people will want to get a financial adviser and think this through,” said Cara Sloan-Ramos, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Lottery, told USA Today. Winners have two years to claim the prize in Kansas, where they can choose to remain anonymous, and one year in Illinois. That state publicly announces their winners.
For now, the wait continues to see who bought the three winning tickets in last Friday’s record $656 million Mega Millions lottery drawing. Each winner will get $218.6 million. And just in case you haven’t checked your ticket yet, the winning numbers were 2, 4, 23, 38, 46 and the mega ball was 23.