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Mega Millions winner to go public in Illinois

20 april 2012, 12:41
©REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
©REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
The only winner of the record-breaking record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot required to go public in order to claim their prize will be unveiled Wednesday, AFP reports citing Illinois lottery officials.

Three winning tickets were sold in the March 30 drawing, but it took a week for the first winner -- a regular lotto player who decided to remain anonymous -- to come forward in Kansas.

Three public school employees in Maryland -- who call themselves the "Three Amigos" and also decided to remain anonymous -- claimed their prize on April 10.

The Illinois winner may have delayed in order to prepare for the cameras.

State lottery officials require multi-million dollar winners to appear at a press conference. The goal is to "assure other players that prizes are paid to winners."

The lucky lotto player won $218.6 million dollars after buying a ticket at the Moto Mart in the small town of Red Bud, Illinois, which is about 40 miles south of St. Louis.

Store manager Denise Metzger said the town is abuzz with rumors about who the winner could be and can't wait to find out who it is.

"There's a couple of the rumors, it's local people from Red Bud," Metzger told WLS radio.

"There was a couple rumors that it was somebody from the Chicago area comin' down to Menard (State Prison) to visit somebody."

Moto Mart's owner received $500,000 dollars from the lottery as a bonus for selling the winning ticket and decided to share $50,000 of the money amongst the store's ten employees, Metzger added.

The winner will be presented with a check for $218.6 million dollars in a 10 am (1500 GMT) ceremony at the village hall in Red Bud, lottery officials said.

No further information -- such as gender, age or even if more than one person will claim the prize -- was provided.

The winner will be able to choose between 26 annual payments or a lump-sum cash prize. Lotto winnings are taxed in the United States.

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