Mega Millions Mess: Lots of ‘Winners’ Just Attention Seekers, A Few Tickets Still Unclaimed

Kim LaCapria - Author
By

Aug. 31 2013, Updated 5:35 p.m. ET

It’s been about four days since the winning numbers for the massive multi-state jackpot were announced, and state lottery officials have a bit of a Mega Millions mess to wade through due to some confusion over who actually won.

As we probably should have expected, many purported Mega Millions winners are actually just confabulists seeking a bit of attention, a quick payday or a platform to spin an exciting tale. Yesterday, the New York Post reported upon one such “winner,” a Haitian single mom of seven named Mirlande Wilson. Wilson told the story of how she’d bought “private” tickets outside her office pool, and that several of her co-workers were now demanding a share of her jackpot winnings in the massive Mega Millions draw.

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The story was picked up by many outlets (including us), but by days’ end, it became pretty clear that Wilson won nothing but a few lines in the paper for what is likely a massive fib, and has as of now not produced a winning Mega Millions ticket. The McDonald’s worker is from Maryland, and state lottery communications director Carole Everett basically said the story doesn’t hold water:

“Everyone says they know [the Mega Millions winner] is their cousin, mother, friend, guy up the street or guy who mows the lawn, but the proof has to be in front of us. There’s nothing to substantiate [Wilson’s claims]… It’s probably not this person.”

Everett says that the woman at the center of the Mega Millions mess is not acting like large jackpot winners typically do:

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“Based on what has happened in the past, most people need a second to breathe and then seek counseling or advice. It would be highly unusual for someone to go get this out to the newspaper before coming to us. I’d be surprised.”

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The so-called Mega Millions mess is not just in Maryland either- winners in Illinois and Kentucky too have failed to come forward.

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