Holding a hot ticket?
Somebody not far from here apparently does. Kansas lottery officials confirmed Saturday that one of three winning tickets in Friday night’s $640 million Mega Millions Lottery drawing was purchased in northeast Kansas.
All three winners — the others were in Illinois and Maryland – stayed out of sight Saturday. They will each earn $213 million before taxes.
All told, 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. With the jackpot odds at 1 in 176 million, it would cost $176 million to buy up every combination.
Illinois’ winner used a quick pick — an automatically generated set of digits — to select the winning numbers at a convenience store in the small town of Red Bud, south of St. Louis, Illinois Lottery spokesman Mike Lang said. The winning numbers also sold at a 7-Eleven in Milford Mill, Md., north of Baltimore.
In Maryland, TV cameras descended upon the 7-Eleven where the state’s winning ticket was purchased. The harried manager repeatedly said “No interviews” to reporters pressing for details as customers pushed through the media crush for their morning.
Maryland does not require lottery winners to be identified; the Mega Millions winner can claim the prize anonymously. 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.
No winner had contacted the agency by Saturday morning, Kansas Lottery Director Dennis Wilson said. “We sure want to meet the winner, but we want to tell them, sign the back of the ticket and secure it.”
Kansas law also allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, though lottery winners in Illinois are identified.
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 won for $24 million.
“We’re thrilled,” she said. “We’re due and excited.”
The holder of the winning ticket in Maryland has 182 days to come forward and claim the prize. Winners in Kansas and Illinois have up to one year; but if the Illinois winner wants to be paid in a lump sum, they have to come forward in 60 days, said Lang.