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Retired Illinois Couple Claims Share of Mega Millions Jackpot [VIDEO]

Lotto Winners

Merle and Patricia Butler, a retired couple in their 60s from the small town of Red Bud, IL, stepped forward on Wednesday to claim their share of the record-breaking $656 million Mega Millions jackpot.

The couple bought the winning numbers, announced March 30, as a $3 quick pick ticket from a local convenience store.

Recounting the night of the drawing, Merle told the reporters assembled at a press conference, “After I looked at [the ticket] for a couple of minutes, I turned to my wife and said, ‘We won.’ She kind of looked at me funny and I said, ‘No, we won.’ And then she started giggling. She giggled for about four hours.”

The couple chose to take a lump sum payment — $110.5 million after taxes — and said they’re still deciding what to do with the money. They’ve met with financial advisers and are examining ways to invest the windfall “instead of trying to think of things we could spend it on.”

The other two winning tickets for the record Mega Millions jackpot were sold in Kansas and Maryland, where state laws have allowed the ticket-holders to remain anonymous. Illinois requires winners to publicly collect prize money.

Watch the Butlers’ press conference below.


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