Illinois Mega Millions Winners Revealed: They’re Real, and They’re Adorable

"I turned to my wife and said, ‘We won.' She giggled for about four hours."

  • Share
  • Read Later
Vodpod videos no longer available.

What can a $3 investment get you in this world?

For Merle and Patricia Butler, a $158 million grand prize.

Names were finally revealed regarding the record-breaking jackpot on Wednesday, when the adorable Illinois couple came forward to receive their share of the $656 million Mega Millions prize.

Longtime residents of the small farming community of Red Bud, the Butlers accepted their reward at a news conference held at the village hall. They bought the winning $3 quick-pick ticket at a local MotoMart convenience store.

(MORE: When Good Things Happen to Good People: 9 Heartwarming Lottery Wins)

Merle, 65, told MSNBC about the night of the March 30 drawing.

“The first thing I spotted was I had a Mega Ball number. Then I started on the other numbers. The further I went the more they matched. After I looked at it for a couple of minutes, I turned to my wife and said, ‘We won.’ She kind of looked at me funny and I said, ‘No, we won.’ And then she started giggling. She giggled for about four hours.”

The winning numbers were 2-4-23-38-46 and Mega Ball No. 23.

The couple has met with financial advisers to figure out the best way to manage the money but has no current plans of how to spend it.

Patricia, 62, said figuring out what to do with the money has been a full-time job. “It keeps you busy going back and forth. And we still have babysitting things to do. We’ve been hardly here at home.”

Now the question remains as to who owns the other two winning tickets. Located somewhere in Kansas and Maryland, those winners have chosen to remain anonymous; those states, unlike Illinois, don’t compel lottery winners to reveal their names.

MORE: Mega Millions Jackpot: 10 Crazy Things More Likely than Hitting the Winning Numbers)