3 tickets share record-breaking lottery jackpot worth $640m | world | Hindustan Times
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3 tickets share record-breaking lottery jackpot worth $640m

Lottery ticket-holders in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland each selected the winning numbers for the world record-breaking $640 million Mega Millions jackpot, lottery officials said early Saturday.

world Updated: Mar 31, 2012 23:17 IST

Lottery ticket-holders in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland each selected the winning numbers for the world record-breaking $640 million Mega Millions jackpot, lottery officials said early Saturday.

Illinois' winning ticket was sold in the small town of Red Bud, near St Louis, and the winner used a quick pick to select the numbers, Illinois Lottery spokesman Mike Lang said. The Maryland Lottery said it sold a winning ticket at a retail store in Baltimore County. A winning ticket also was purchased in northeast Kansas, according to the Kansas Lottery website.

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. Maryland Lottery spokesperson 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. The odds of winning the jackpot were 1 in 176 million.

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. "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.

Willie Richards, who works for the US 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.