Stephen Martino, the director of the state’s lottery, said this morning that three friends who worked in the public education system had come forward with the ticket.
Calling themselves “the Three Amigos,” the winners — a man in his 40s, a woman in her 20s and a woman in her 50s — pooled their money to buy 60 tickets. Under Maryland law, they can choose to remain anonymous and they intend to keep their riches a secret from the general public.
The youngest member of the trio reportedly kept the tickets and called the other two when she realized one set of numbers matched.
One of the winners was so unconcerned about the drawing that she went to sleep.
“It was around 11:30 p.m., and my phone just kept ringing and ringing. I finally decided to answer it, thinking something was wrong.” Once she picked up, the two other winners were on the phone and said, “Get dressed. We’re coming over right now.”
They then made copies and each signed them.
“At 1 a.m., I took the ticket and drove to my mother’s house to put it in her safe,” one winner said today during a news conference. “I didn’t even take time to pack any clothes — I just drove.”
The ticket was worth $218.6 million of the $656 million jackpot. The trio chose the cash option of $158 million. After taxes, they will take home a little less than $35 million each.
“It’s gratifying to know that these individuals, who have given so much to the public through the years, have had this wonderful luck,” Martino said during the news conference.
Sold at a Baltimore County 7-Eleven, the lottery ticket was one of three in the country to match the numbers jackpot. The other two were sold in Illinois and Kansas. In Kansas, an anonymous winner was announced.
The Maryland winners said they all planned to invest their winnings and purchase new homes. They all work multiple jobs, but said they planned to continue working in their school district. One is an elementary teacher, another a special-education teacher and the third is in administrative support.
Originally Mirlande Wilson, a Baltimore mother of seven and McDonald’s employee, said she’d bought one of the three winning Mega Millions tickets. She repeatedly said she had to find the ticket and last week her lawyer said he’d not seen it either.
And on Thursday, Linda Bobo of Brookhaven, Miss., told ABC News that her son Mike Dronet, a Glen Burnie, Md., roofer, had retracted his story that he’d actually won.