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Maryland family claims $26M Mega Millions lottery jackpot

Feb 21, 2013, 4:51 pm

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Mega Millions

Winner chooses to remain anonymous

At approximately 10 p.m. Tuesday evening, before going to bed, a Mt. Airy, Maryland, man jokingly told his fiancée they were going to wake up as millionaires.  One hour later, while they were sound asleep, that premonition became a reality.

When the woman woke up the next morning, she went online to check her tickets and realized they were $26 million richer.  Before calling her fiancé, she had her daughter check the numbers on the ticket, too.

"I am still in denial," said the grandmother-of-two who chose to remain anonymous.  "I even drove by the store the next day to see if it was real.  One look at the parking lot with all the news vans and I knew it was true."

The lucky winner, who babysits her grandchildren, playfully told her daughter that she could no longer watch the kids — unless it was at the beach.  That's because the 48-year-old retiree plans to buy a beach house — or two.  "This will be the first time anyone from our family has ever owned a home," the winner told Lottery officials.  "There have been so many winners in Western Maryland lately, we're glad we were one of them."

To win the jackpot, the winner matched all five numbers, plus the Mega Ball.  After choosing the cash option, they will take home $12.6 million after taxes.

The winning ticket was purchased at Mt. Airy Shell, located at 649 Lakeview Dr. in Mt. Airy.  For selling the winning ticket, the retailer will receive a $26,000 commission.

This is the first Mega Millions jackpot win in Maryland since three public education employees shared the $218.6 million portion of the record-breaking $656 million jackpot from March 2012.

The multi-state Mega Millions game is played in 44 states and jurisdictions.  Mega Millions drawings are held on Tuesday and Friday evenings at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  The winning numbers are published minutes later at USA Mega (, a Web site devoted to the multi-state Mega Millions and Powerball games.

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