Culture

Mega Millions Jackpot Won in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland

Sat., Mar. 31, 2012 11:17 PM EST
by Jana Hicks

The $640 million Mega Millions jackpot will be split at least three ways as ticket holders in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland all selected the winning numbers for the world record-breaking lottery, officials said early Saturday. 

Illinois’ winning ticket was sold 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. The Maryland Lottery said it sold a winning ticket at a retail store in Baltimore County.

A winning ticket also was purchased in northeast Kansas, according to the Kansas Lottery website. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a message Saturday morning.

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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. With the jackpot odds at 1 in 176 million, it would cost $176 million to buy up every combination. Under that scenario, the strategy would win $171 million less if your state also withholds taxes.

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