After much speculation, the Maryland winner of one of the largest Mega Millions jackpots in the history of the US lottery has finally come forward, Maryland Lottery officials have confirmed. The winner bought one of two winning tickets for the March 18th 2014 draw for a $414 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot and has been very clear about wishing to remain anonymous.
It took the Mega Millions winner from Maryland over 50 days to come forward to claim their share which amounted to a cash option of $207million (around $76m after taxes). At the same time Florida couple Raymond Moyer and Robyn Collier came forward to claim the other half of the jackpot.
The winning Mega Millions numbers for the draw were – 11, 19, 24, 33, 51 and mega ball of 7.
According to Maryland state lottery officials the lucky Mega Millions winner said “You have to play to win”. “You have to play your lucky numbers.” Given the privacy accorded to the winner, there is no other official statement on record from them. Maryland does appear to be a popular winning state however. “We are pleased that Maryland, once again, was home to a Mega Millions jackpot winner“, said Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland lottery.
Maryland will receive a share of tax revenue directly generated by the Mega Millions lottery prize fund in excess of $10 million which can be used on state projects, including public health, public safety, education and the environment. And the winning ticket keeps on giving. Lady’s Liquor in La Plata, the store where the winning Mega Millions ticket was sold, will also receive a $100,000 agent bonus.
The manager of Lady’s Liquor, Jay Ghala, said he didn’t know who the winner was but assumed it was one of his regular customers. He said that between 20 and 30 Mega Millions lottery tickets were sold per hour in the days leading up to the draw. Customers hoping that luck would strike twice again bought some lottery tickets the day after the winning Mega Millions draw. “I figure I can come in and play a Powerball just to try my luck” one customer said.
While we may not know what plans this winner has for his Mega Millions jackpot, we know previous winners of huge sums have spent their takings in different ways.
Powerball lottery winner Gloria MacKenzie won nearly $600 million in 2013 – the largest single-winner in that particular lotteries history. She instantly, and philanthropically, gave £2million of the pre-tax $372 million cash option payment she received, to fix the roof of Schenck High. School in East Millinocket, Maine. This is the school where her children attended and where her daughter teaches Biology.
In 2011 John Kutey donated $250,000 to build a water park — Spray Park — in Green Island, New York. He was one of seven employees knows as ‘The Albany Seven’, Mega Millios lottery winers from New York shared a $319 million jackpot.
In August 2009 Kevyn Ogawa from San Gabriel, California, and James Groves of New York City, shared the Mega Millions winnings of $336 million. Groves, who lives in Harlem and worked in Madison Square Gardens before the win, told reporters that he was inundated with calls from friends and acquaintances looking to borrow money. ”It’s a dream turned into a nightmare,” he said. “Winning is the beginning. Living with it is pure hell.”
The largest lottery jackpot in history remains at $656 million, split among Mega Millions winners ‘The Three Amigos’ from Maryland, and the other two winners from Kansas and Illinois in 2012.