When the Mega Millions lottery began approaching ever closer to $1 billion a type of lottery fever the likes we have never before seen was upon us and while we may never know who won the huge jackpots in Maryland and Kansas, the state of Illinois does not allow lottery winners to remain anonymous and in fact they must collect their prize at a public press conference.
Because of the silly Illinois law we learned on Wednesday that the lottery’s winner was Merle Butler of Red Bud, IL who appeared at the press conference to claim his massive winnings (1/3 of the overall pot) with his wife.
When speaking about his good luck Merle revealed that he actually took the winning ticket to his bank the next morning, waiting at 9am to put the ticket in a lockbox.
According to Merle:
“Someone joked, ‘Oh, I guess you came over to put your ticket in it … She doesn’t know til right now I actually had my ticket in it.”
Butler is retired but says with his new found wealth he will have another “full-time job” although he plans to enlist the help of good financial advisers and a lawyer to ensure he gets the most out of his $200+ million which will be cut down drastically after taking a lump sum payment and paying taxes on his winnings.
In the meantime Merle and his wife will now likely have to deal with a ton of contact from family members and strangers looking for a handout, a pretty common occurrence when a lottery winner is revealed.