Kan., Ill., Md. tickets share lottery jackpot

Published: Saturday, March 31, 2012 8:11 a.m.CDT • Updated: Saturday, March 31, 2012 10:25 a.m.CDT

CHICAGO — Lottery ticket-holders in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland each selected the winning numbers for the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot that is believed to be the world's largest of all time, a lottery official said Saturday.

Illinois Lottery spokesman Mike Lang said his state's winning ticket was sold in the small town of Red Bud, near St. Louis. The winner used a quick pick to select the numbers, he said.

The Maryland Lottery announced earlier Saturday that it had sold a winning ticket at a retail store in Baltimore County.

A winning ticket also was purchased in Kansas, though details weren't immediately available, Lang said. A spokeswoman for the Kansas Lottery didn't immediately return a message Saturday morning.

Each winning ticket was expected to be worth more than $213 million before taxes, Lang said. The winning numbers in Friday night's drawing were 02-04-23-38-46, and the Mega Ball 23.

The Chicago Tribune reported Saturday morning that 12 second-place tickets were sold in Illinois last night - including one in DeKalb - by matching five numbers for $250,000. One ticket had the "Megaplier" feature, upping the prize to $1 million, the agency said.

The $1 million ticket was sold at the 7-Eleven at 1750 West Foster Avenue in Chicago.

The second place ticket from DeKalb was sold at the Road Ranger in the 100 block of North Annie Glidden Road.

Other second-place tickets were sold at DM Stores at 222 North LaSalle Street in Chicago, AG 26th Inc. at 3201 W. 26th Street in Chicago, a Jewel on Eola Road in Aurora, a 7-Eleven on Barrington Road in Streamwood, a BP Fast n Fresh on Monee Road in Monee, and stores in East Peoria, Granite City, Minooka, Rochelle, and Rockford, according to the Chicago Tribune report..

Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Carole Everett said the last time a ticket from the state won a major national jackpot was in 2008, when a ticket sold for $24 million.

"We're thrilled," she said. "We're due and excited."

The estimated jackpot dwarfs the previous $390 million record, which was split in 2007 by two winners who bought tickets in Georgia and New Jersey.

Americans spent nearly $1.5 billion for a chance to hit the jackpot, which amounts to a $462 million lump sum and around $347 million after federal tax withholding. With the jackpot odds at 1 in 176 million, it would cost $176 million to buy up every combination. Under that scenario, the strategy would win $171 million less if your state also withholds taxes.

From coast to coast, people stood in line at retail stores Friday for one last chance at striking it rich.

Maribeth Ptak, 31, of Milwaukee, said she only buys Mega Millions tickets when the jackpot is really big and she bought one Friday at a Milwaukee grocery store. She said she'd use the money to pay off bills, including school loans, and then she'd donate a good portion to charity.

"I know the odds are really not in my favor, but why not," she said.

Sawnya Castro, 31, of Dallas, bought $50 worth of tickets at a 7-Eleven. She figured she'd use the money to create a rescue society for Great Danes, fix up her grandmother's house, and perhaps even buy a bigger one for herself.

"Not too big — I don't want that. Too much house to keep with," she said.

Willie Richards, who works for the U.S. Marshals Service at a federal courthouse in Atlanta, figured if there ever was a time to confront astronomical odds, it was when $640 million was at stake. He bought five tickets.

"When it gets as big as it is now, you'd be nuts not to play," he said. "You have to take a chance on Lady Luck."

* Associated Press writers Carrie Antlfinger in Milwaukee, Jamie Stengle in Dallas and Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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