Kansas Mega Millions winner claims money

3:04 PM, Apr 6, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

By Marisol Bello, USA TODAY 

One of the winners in last week's Mega Millions jackpot has claimed a $218.6 million share of the prize.

Kansas Lottery officials will hold a press conference Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT in Topeka to announce the details.

Meanwhile, a Baltimore woman who says she had the winning ticket from Maryland, told NBC News on Friday that she would claim the winnings if she ever found the ticket.

"I misplaced it," Mirlande Wilson, a McDonald's employee, told the reporter. She insisted she didn't make up the story to get attention.

None of the three winners of the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois had come forward as of Friday morning.

"For a jackpot of this amount, it's normal that people will want to get a financial adviser and think this through," said Cara Sloan-Ramos, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Lottery.

Winners have two years to claim the prize in Kansas, one year in Illinois and until Sept. 28 in Maryland. They can choose to remain anonymous in Kansas and Maryland and will be identified in Illinois.

There has been a frenzy around what is one of the largest lottery jackpots in history. The jackpot fueled rumors of winners, fake photos of winners on Twitter and Facebook, and claims by people who say they or their relatives won.

On Thursday, the director of the Maryland Lottery, Stephen Martino, urged residents to check their tickets. He said no one had produced the winning ticket, despite two reports of people from Maryland winning the lottery.

"There have been any number of rumors," Martino said. Many people believe the winner has claimed the prize, he said, so "we wanted to make sure people knew the ticket has not been claimed."

Wilson claimed to have a winning ticket. At a news conference Wednesday, her attorney, Edward Smith Jr., said he hadn't seen the ticket. Smith and Wilson asked reporters to leave her alone.

Wilson's co-workers at a McDonald's restaurant claim she bought tickets for a group pool and is trying to take all the money.

Another claim by a mother who said her son won the Maryland jackpot turned out to be false.

Linda Bobo, 64, of Mississippi said her son, Michael Dronet, a Glen Burnie, Md., roofer, won the Mega Millions. Later, during a conference call with Bobo, Dronet and a TV reporter, Dronet told her a friend had played a joke on him and made him think he had the winning ticket, she said.

Cicily Maton, a Chicago financial adviser, said if people know they have the winning ticket, it makes sense they haven't come forward yet. She says it is smart for them to first put together a team of attorneys and financial advisers to help them deal with the windfall.

"It's wise to take as much time as you need, so you can have a good plan in place," she said. "They may have told select family members, and not even then - because suddenly you find you have relatives that you didn't even know you had."

Most Watched Videos