When the jackpot soared to over $650 million and broke records earlier this month, many a hopeful Mega Millions winner mulled over all the stuff they’d buy in the unlikely even their numbers came in. (Spoiler alert: most of us lost.)
Everyone fantasizes about their rap star baller lifestyle after a big win, but few people consider what goes through the mind of a Mega Millions winner after realizing they’ve snagged a few dump trucks full of money and all the purchasing power that comes along with it.
All of the most recent jackpot’s Mega Millions winners had stepped forward this week, save for one holdout- the holder of the golden ticket in Illinois, who’d kept mum in recent weeks while brouhaha erupted in other states like Maryland due to a few lottery fakers. (McDonald’s worker Mirlande Wilson was a notable media troller, first claiming she’d won separate from her office pool and planned to keep the huge winnings to herself, then claiming she’d won but hidden her multi-million dollar ticket within the McDonald’s store where she worked before finally saying she’d won but lost the ticket and fading from the spotlight forever.)
While the Mega Millions winner in Illinois kept the win under wraps for a while, the couple who had the holdout winning ticket- Merle and Patricia Butler of Red Bud- finally stepped forward this week to claim their massive share of the huge prize. The retired couple hit it big on a $3 quick pick, and Merle explains what happened after he jotted down the numbers and checked them:
“I thought, ‘I might win something, The further I went, the more they matched. After I looked at it for a couple minutes, I turned to my wife and said, ‘We won… She kind of looked at me funny and I said, ‘No, we won.’ And then she started giggling. She giggled for about four hours.”
The Mega Millions winners hot-footed it to a bank lockbox after learning that their share among winners would be a lump sum of $157.8 million.