What is $640 million divided by three? More math than jackpot winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland will ever have to do again.
Mega Millions announced Saturday that winning tickets for Friday’s record-breaking lottery were bought in those states. Americans spent nearly $1.5 billion on tickets, according to The Associated Press. The numbers drawn were 2, 4, 23, 38 and 46, and the “Mega Ball” was 23.
Maryland’s winning ticket came from Baltimore County, according to the state’s lottery Web site. “This is truly remarkable and historic,” Stephen Martino, the state’s lottery director, said in a statement. “We can’t wait to greet the winner.”
In Kansas, officials said only that the ticket had come from the “northeast region” of the state.
Of course, stories abound about the perils of life after a windfall. There is the tale of Jack Whittaker, a West Virginia man who in 2002 won a $314.9 million jackpot but later said he regretted the payout after years of legal turmoil and personal tragedy.
“Since I won the lottery, I think there is no control for greed,” he told ABC in 2007. “I wish I’d torn that ticket up.”
In November 2009, a construction worker in New Jersey, Americo Lopes, hid a $38.5 million Mega Millions ticket from friends with whom he had been playing the lottery, as a team, for years. Less than three weeks ago, a jury in Union County ordered him to split his winnings.
Before Friday’s drawing, Mega Millions called the $640 million prize “the largest lottery jackpot in world history,” surpassing a previous record of $390 million.
The lottery had announced that a single winner would have had the choice of two payment options: 26 annual pretax payments of $24.6 million, or a cash alternative of about $462 million.
Instead, a split will have to do, and by Saturday morning, officials in the three states were already preaching solidarity. Their Twitter accounts began distributing an image of the three states, side by side, above the Mega Millions logo and a simple message. “Sharing is caring,” it read.
(Source: NY Times)