Three winners share $640m US lottery jackpot

2012-03-31 17:03

Washington -Three people will share a record $640 million US lottery jackpot, organizers announced Saturday, confirming that the winning tickets were sold in the states of Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.

"Three tickets matched all six numbers in the Friday, March 30, Mega Millions drawing," the company said.

Illinois' winning ticket was bought at a convenience store in the small town of Red Bud, near St. Louis, and the winner used a quick pick to select the numbers, Illinois Lottery spokesman Mike Lang said.

"This is very exciting, people are extremely happy, and of course everybody wants to know who it is," Denise Metzger, manager of the Motomart where the winning ticket was sold, said Saturday morning. "Hopefully I sold that ticket to someone who comes in every single morning."

In Maryland, television cameras were descending on the 7-Eleven convenience store in Baltimore County where the state's winning ticket was purchased. The harried manager could only repeatedly say "No interviews" to the reporters pressing for details, and customers pushed through the media crush for their morning coffee on Saturday.

The store will receive a $100 000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, which was purchased Friday night.

The third winning ticket was purchased in northeast Kansas, but no other information would be released by the Kansas Lottery until the winner comes forward, spokeswoman Cara S. Sloan-Ramos said in an email.

No information has been released yet about the winners in Maryland and Illinois.

Each winning ticket was expected to be worth more than $213 million before taxes, Lang said. The winning numbers in Friday night's drawing were 02-04-23-38-46, and the Mega Ball 23.

Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Carole Everett said the last time a ticket from the state won a major national jackpot was in 2008, when a ticket sold for $24 million.

"We're thrilled," she said. "We're due and excited."

The estimated jackpot dwarfs the previous $390 million record, which was split in 2007 by two winners who bought tickets in Georgia and New Jersey.

Americans spent nearly $1.5 billion for a chance to hit the jackpot, which amounts to a $462 million lump sum and around $347 million after federal tax withholding. The odds of winning the jackpot were 1 in 176 million.



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