Kansas, Illinois, Maryland tickets share record $640 million Mega Millions jackpot

By Party Bus Seattle

Updated 12:22 p.m. ET — Three lottery tickets sold in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland hit the world record-breaking $640 million Mega Millions jackpot, lottery officials said Saturday.

Illinois’ winning ticket was sold in the small town of Red Bud, near St. Louis. Mike Lang, spokesman for the Illinois Lottery, said the winner used a quick pick to select the numbers.

Dennis Metzger, the manager at the Moto Mart in Red Bud that sold the winning ticket, said she has no idea who the lucky person is.

“This is very exciting, people are extremely happy, and of ourse everybody wants to know who it is,” Metzger said. “Hopefully I sold that ticket to someone who comes in every single morning.”

NBC’s Luke Russert reports from outside the Maryland store where a winning ticket to Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot was sold.

 The Maryland Lottery announced earlier Saturday that it had sold a winning ticket at a 7-Eleven store in Baltimore County. The harried manager could only repeatedly say “No interviews” to the reporters pressing for details.

Maryland does not require lottery winners to be publicly identified; the Mega Millions winner can claim the prize anonymously.

The Kansas ticket was sold in the northeastern part of the state. No other information would be released by the Kansas Lottery until the winner comes forward, spokeswoman Cara S. Sloan-Ramos said. Kansas law also allows lottery winners to remain anonymous.

Lang said each winning ticket was expected to be worth more than $213 million before taxes.

The winning numbers in Friday night’s drawing were 02-04-23-38-46, and the Mega Ball 23. Winners could receive either a one-time payment of their share or take it in 26 annual installment payments.

What is the first thing you’d do with the Mega Millions lottery winnings?

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.

No matter who wins the jackpot, one certain winner is the Internal Revenue Service. The tax-collecting agency subjects lottery winnings of more than $5,000 to a 25-percent federal withholding tax.

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.”
……………………..Well the dreams of Seattle party Bus Rentals to win and buy the most luxurious fleet of buses ever was just crushed..Maybe next time!

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this story.

More content from msnbc.com and NBC News:


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