Three share $656m in US lottery


ATLANTA – The largest lottery jackpot in US history – a whopping $656 million (€491 million) – will be shared by the buyers of three winning Mega Millions tickets in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland – but their identities remained a mystery, lottery officials said.

A pre-dawn call alerted Denise Metzger, manager of a Motomart convenience store, to news from lottery officials that her store had sold a winning ticket in the tiny farming community of Red Bud in southern Illinois, with less than 4,000 residents, about 48km (30 miles) southeast of St Louis.

“I screamed, I woke my husband up,” said Metzger, whose retail outlet will receive $500,000 for selling a winning ticket.

The Mega Millions lottery created a stir across the country, with people rushing to buy the $1 tickets. In all, more than a billion tickets were sold.

At least two of the winners’ tickets were “quick picks” .

The lucky numbers announced on Friday night in Atlanta were 2-4-23-38-46 and Mega Ball 23.

Lottery officials said winning tickets were purchased at a 7-Eleven store in Milford Mill, Maryland, and the Motomart convenience store in Red Bud.

The Kansas Lottery said a winning ticket was sold in the most populated northeastern part of the state but did not give the precise location. – (Reuters)