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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mega Millions Lottery Winner: Maryland Resident! Additional Winning Tickets In Illinois & Kansas! Congrats!

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Winning ticket for record Mega Millions jackpot sold in Maryland

Someone in Maryland is about to have a wildly euphoric weekend.

A Winning ticket for the record-breaking $640 million Mega Millions jackpot was sold in Baltimore County, the Maryland Lottery said Saturday.

Lottery officials are waiting for information on potential jackpot winners from other Mega Millions states.

The winning numbers in the Mega Millions lottery Friday night were 2, 4, 23, 38, 46 with a Mega Ball of 23.

California Lottery Commission spokesman Alex Traverso said 29 tickets sold in that state matched five of the six winning numbers. He said the payout will be about $125,000 to $130,000.

The multistate jackpot caused long lines at convenience stores, with many dreaming of creative ways to quit their jobs if they get the lucky numbers.

Sales skyrocketed at Manhattan Tobacco, a New York convenience store, cashier Alex Shanahe said. He said the store has proved to be lucky before, having sold winning tickets of $3 million and $5 million.

"The sales have tripled. Everybody wants to win the Mega Millions," Shanahe said before the drawing.

A single winner could claim yearly payments or a one-time cash option of $462 million, Mega Millions spokeswoman Kelly Cripe said.

The Mega Millions lottery is played in 42 states plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, lottery officials say.

The odds of winning the jackpot are about one in 176 million, which means a person would have a better chance of getting struck by lightning.

Myra Langford, 70, a retired school administrator, said she knows the odds but still bought five tickets.

If she wins, Langford said, she will help fix the roof of her church and move out of the cramped Queens apartment she lived in for the past 47 years.

"You got to be in it to win it," she said, parroting a commercial.

Economist Austan Goolsbee, a professor at the University of Chicago who also chaired the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the winner or winners should take the lump sum instead of the annuity.

The choice comes down to interest rates, and with interest rates at zero, the lump sum just makes better financial sense, he said.

"If you are fortunate enough to win the lottery, you most certainly want to take the lump sum," Goolsbee said.

Psychologist Scott Bea said if a winner is a poor money manager and has been unhappy in life before winning, that's likely to continue.

"It solves one problem, but it creates a half-billion others," he said. "You have about no chance at winning this, but it really gets people excited."

His wife asked him if the couple could spend $10 on lottery tickets.

"We could probably flush it down the toilet and have the same outcome, but if it gives you some hope, why not?" Bea said.

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Sources: CBS News, CNN, Google Maps

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