CLAIMS: Mirlande Wilson
LOTTERY OFFICIALS say all the winners of the biggest lotto in the United States history have claimed their prizes, ending claims by a Haitian woman that she had a winning US$218.6 million Mega Millions ticket.
They said a trio of public school employees claimed their share of this month’s US$656 (£409m) Mega millions prize.
Mirlande Wilson, the Haitian-born McDonald’s employee, had claimed she had won part of the lottery but her story changed last week, when she said that she had lost her ticket.
“I did not make up no story to get no attention,” she told reporters, even as her lawyer said he was unsure whether or not she had won.
Maryland Lottery director Stephen Martino told reporters on Tuesday that “these are the only winners,” without identifying them.
“This is the event we wanted to have. We’re just glad the true winners had the ticket. I don’t know why someone would claim one of the largest jackpots in the history of the world (and not have the ticket),” Martino said, adding “but people have their own way of doing things”.
Martino said the winners, who elected to remain anonymous, all had a good laugh as Wilson’s tale unravelled.
Martino said the winners, two women and a man, each chipped in US$20 to buy US$60 in tickets for the March 31 draw.
He said the three colleagues, two teachers and an administrator, purchased their Mega Millions tickets at three locations.
Martino said each of them will get nearly US$35 million apiece after their $105 million after-tax share is split in three.
The other winning tickets in the record-breaking draw were sold in Illinois and Kansas.