• Mega Millions jackpot split by winners in three states
     | April 01,2012
    The Associated Press

    Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery, speaks to reporters outside a Baltimore 7-Eleven store where one of the winning lottery tickets was sold Saturday.

    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.

    Reports on Saturday afternoon suggested that the prize total would be revised to as high as $656 million after all sales were tallied.

    “AND WE HAVE A WINNER!!” the Illinois Lottery posted on Twitter on Saturday morning. The ticket had been bought at Red Bud Motomart in Red Bud, Ill., the message said, about 40 miles from St. Louis.

    Maryland’s winning ticket came from Baltimore County, according to the state’s lottery website. “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. Winners in the state have the option of remaining anonymous, said Cara Sloan-Ramos, a spokeswoman for the state’s lottery.

    In Illinois, a winner’s name, home city and prize total are made public “to assure other players that prizes are paid to winners,” according to the state’s lottery website.

    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.

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