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Kansas Mega Millions winner comes forward; Md. woman claiming she won says ticket is lost

Updated: April 7, 2012 12:05AM

Who won the biggest lottery in history?

No one knows. Well, most people don’t, at least not yet.

A winner who has claim to one-third of the $656 million prize finally came forward in Kansas Friday, but declined to be named. Meanwhile, a woman who claimed to have the winning Mega Millions ticket sold in Maryland now says she has misplaced it.

And in tiny Downstate Red Bud, pop. 3,700, no one knows who bought the winning ticket — or at least no one is saying who it is.

On Thursday, Mirlande Wilson of Baltimore told WRC-TV in Washington that she misplaced the winning ticket she claimed she bought at a 7-Eleven in Milford Mill.

When asked if she would claim the jackpot, Wilson replied, “If I find it. ... I misplaced it.”

Wilson had previously said she hid the ticket at the McDonald’s where she works.

In Kansas, Dennis Wilson, the Lottery’s executive director, said the winner arrived Friday morning at the lottery’s Topeka headquarters with an attorney and two financial advisers. Wilson declined to give even the winner’s age or gender and said lottery officials did not ask for personal, financial information. But he said the ticket was held by only one person.

The holder of the ticket is the state’s biggest jackpot winner. The ticket was purchased at one of three Casey’s General Stores in Ottawa, about 40 miles southeast of Topeka.

Wilson said the Kansas winner took a single, cash payment of nearly $158 million, leaving that person with $110.5 million after taxes.

The winner claimed the share about a week after the drawing.

“They obviously don’t need the publicity,” he said. “They’re not used to the publicity of where they’re from, where they live.”

Wilson said the winner of the state’s record prize needs time to digest his or her good fortune.

“They were still, you know, just in awe that they had won it,” he said. “They’re like all of us. They think about the possibilities of winning, but they never think it’s going to happen to them.”

Wilson said the winner plays various lottery games regularly but does not spend much money. He said the person spent $1 on Mega Millions, opting for a computer-generated “quick pick.” The winning numbers were 2-4-23-38-46, with a Mega Ball of 23.

He said the holder of the winning ticket didn’t know it until Monday, checking online. He said the winner didn’t disclose plans for the money, although he said the person was looking forward to retirement.

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