TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – As Tri-State residents recover from Mega Millions fever, New Jersey officials say the state scored nearly $41 million from last week’s record Mega Millions lottery drawing.
Like all lottery revenues, the money from Mega Millions goes into the state budget to pay for education and higher education programs, human services and veterans’ assistance.
Though no winning tickets were sold in New Jersey for the record $656 million jackpot, there were five second-place tickets each worth $250,000 sold in the Garden State.
The winning tickets for the jackpot were sold in Maryland, Illinois and Kansas.
While no one has come forward to officially claim the record-setting prize, lottery officials in Maryland are expected to hold a news conference Thursday, possibly to address a woman’s claims that she holds the winning ticket in that state.
Mirlande Wilson, a Baltimore woman who works at McDonald’s, says she’s the Mega Millions winner from Maryland, but she hasn’t turned in a ticket or offered any proof that she has it.
Her attorney Edward Smith Jr. said Wednesday that he didn’t know if his client has the winning ticket worth $218 million before taxes, but said they would attempt to claim the prize at some point.
In the meantime, he’s telling the media to buzz off.
“Go home. Let’s sort this thing out and everybody who wants you all to do a story on it, God knows, by next week or next month this will all be over and we’ll all still be friends,” Smith said at a news conference Wednesday.
Since the drawing, Wilson has given varying accounts to media, saying alternately that she had won and that she wasn’t sure.
Wilson’s co-workers say if she really did win, they want a share because they pooled their money for tickets. Wilson says she bought her ticket separately.
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