Three employees of Marylands public education system have come forward to claim their share of the Mega Millions jackpot. The total prize fund was a whopping $656 million and their share of the win was £218.6million. The three, self-styled, ‘amigos’ arrived at lottery headquarters along with their financial advisor and opted for the cash option giving them a total of $158 million for their Mega Millions lottery prize. After taxes the lottery winners would share between them £105m – or £35m each. Three winning tickets were sold nationally for the March 30th 2012 draw and the other lucky winners came from Kansas and Illinois.
Not much is known about the three amigos – and if recent reports are anything to go by, they intend to keep it that way as they are looking to ensure their anonymity is protected following their Mega Millions lottery success. What is known is that the group comprises of a woman in her 20’s, a man in his 40’s and another woman in her 50’s. The three pooled their money to purchase 20 Mega Millions tickets each giving them 60 in total. The group has said in statements that they intend to return to work and carry on with their lives as before despite their Mega Millions jackpot.
The youngest of the group was the ticket holder and on the night of the draw checked the Mega Millions winning numbers immediately: “I had 60 tickets spread across my floor,” she said. Once I realized one was a winner, I called my two friends right away.” On the night of the draw, one of the winners went to sleep as normal and had forgotten about the lottery. She said in a statement. "It was around 11:30 p.m., and my phone just kept ringing and ringing." It was the two other winners calling to say, "Get dressed. We're coming over right now." The three then hatched a plan. They all signed copies of the ticket, and one of the winners took the ticket to her mother's house to put in her safe.
When they came to claim their portion of the historic Mega Millions jackpot, they were reportedly described as "modest" and "humbled".
When asked about future plans for their newfound Mega Millions lottery fortune, each of the amigos had different thoughts. The man has declared that he wants to help his children pay their college expenses as well as buy a house for his sister. The woman, aged 20, would like to back pack across Europe and the remaining member of the group has said she would like to “visit Italy’s wine country”. What they all seem to agree on however is that they will take as much financial advice as possible about their Mega Millions jackpot. “We watched coverage of the jackpot win this week, just so we could listen to the financial advice the professionals were offering”, said the youngest woman in the group.
The Director of the Maryland lottery, Stephen Martino, was generous in his praise of the Mega Millions winners. “If it can’t be you, these are precisely the people that you would want to see win the lottery” he said. He went on to tell reporters “It’s very gratifying to know that these individuals, who have given so much to the public through the years, have had this wonderful luck. It couldn’t have happened to nicer people.” And it seems the trio are not the only winners. As a result of the Mega Millions lottery win, Maryland will receive $13 million in extra tax revenue to support good causes within the state.
As a way of celebrating, the group has suggested, jokingly, they may have the winning Mega Millions numbers tattooed onto their arms, and as they come to terms with the fact that they are now richer than many celebrities, they still find time to catch up on social media. “Even Britney Spears tweeted a congratulations message to us!” said one of the group.