On March 30, a 20-year-old public school employee found a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket among the 60 she had spread out on the floor.
"Once I realized one was a winner, I called my two friends right away," she said in a Maryland Lottery news release Tuesday. The three have decided to remain anonymous.
She and another winner, a man in his 40s, went over to the third friend's house—a woman in her 50s—to plan how to claim their winnings, the release states.
The three friends, all public school employees, had gone in on a pool together to purchase the 60 tickets for the historic $656 million Mega Millions jackpot, lottery officials said.
They bought the earlier that evening at the 7-Eleven located at 8014 Liberty Road in Milford Mill.
The friends who call themselves "The Three Amigos" each will get $35 million after taxes, the release states. They split the jackpot with the winners who have the other two winning tickets that were sold in Illinois and Kentucky.
"We made copies of the ticket, and we each signed the copies," one of the women said in the release. "At 1 a.m., I took the ticket and drove to my mother’s house to put it in her safe. I didn’t even take time to pack any clothes—I just drove."
During the week that followed, one of the women said she watched the news to get information on how to proceed.
"I watched coverage of the jackpot win on television... just so I could listen to the professionals were offering," she said in the release.
Then on Monday, the Maryland Lottery announced that .
On Tuesday, the lottery and announced that the winners—all of whom hold multiple jobs—had chosen the cash option of $158 million.
They had come to lottery headquarters in Baltimore, along with their financial adviser.
After taxes, the winners will share $105 million, taking home just under $35 million each, the release states.
"We are thrilled that three such deserving Marylanders have won this money," Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino said in the release. "It’s gratifying to know that these individuals, who have given so much to the public through the years, have had this wonderful luck. It couldn’t have happened to nicer people."
Each of the winners plans to continue working at their school system, among other things, the release states:
- The man: "I’m going to help my children with their college expenses, pay off my house and buy a house for my sister."
- One of the women: "I plan on backpacking through Europe with my brother."
- The other woman: "I’m going to go to Italy’s wine country ... Most importantly, we’re going to be careful with how the money is spent."
And when it comes to celebrating together, they agreed, half-jokingly, that they will get matching tattoos of the winning numbers, according to the release.
Joking aside, they're going to be multi-millionaires within days.
"It’s so crazy that even celebrities are tweeting about this," one of the winners said in the release. "Even Britney Spears tweeted a congratulations message to the winners."
They aren't the only winners, though.
The , Martino said in the release.
And Maryland will get more than $13 million in additional tax revenue "to support the good causes of the state."