The Mega Millions mess in Maryland has still not been cleared up as Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino said purported winner Mirlande Wilson has not come forward to claim the prize.
Our status is no different than where we were Saturday morning, Martino told a news conference. We look forward to the day when the winner comes forward and we have an opportunity to meet them and listen to their story. We are anxious and we wait for them to come forward, but until that time, the ticket has not been claimed.
Wilson, a 37-year-old native of Haiti, who lives in Baltimore, held a news conference proclaiming that she won a share of the $656 million prize with two other winners in Kansas and Illinois. While Wilson and her fellow co-workers at a Maryland McDonald's entered into a pool to win the jackpot, she said the winning ticket was bought with a lucky dollar bill she found on the floor of the fast food joint.
A Baltimore-area 7 Eleven sold the winning ticket. Wilson claims she bought the lucky ticket at that location.
Wilson did not produce the ticket during her news conference and claimed the ticket is safely stashed at the McDonald's where she works. Her co-workers are furious at her, believing she is cheating them out of their share of the prize, if she is in fact the winner.
Martino advised all Mega Millions ticket holders to check their stubs once more as nobody has come forward with the winning ticket.
Since no one claimed the ticket ... we would encourage people to look at their tickets very closely, especially if you purchased your ticket from the 7 Eleven in Baltimore County, Martino said.
Martino said Maryland lottery officials have reviewed the security tape from the 7 Eleven on the day the ticket was bought. The ticket was purchased at 7:15 p.m, less than four hours before Friday's Mega Millions drawing.
Martino would only say that the video has been reviewed and the timestamp on the tape does not match the timestamp of the lottery computer system. But the lottery director said the state has a number of security features in place to verify a winning ticket.
Martino said rumors are flying as to who holds the winning ticket and he said the large jackpot combined with April Fool's Day fueled the rumor frenzy. Facebook and Twitter have been aflutter with Photoshopped images claiming to to be the winning ticket.
There are people who believe the ticket has been claimed, he said, noting it would truly be a tragedy if the winner discarded their ticket believing a purported winner came forward. Until that time, people need to look at their tickets.
Whether Mirlande Wilson or someone else has the winning ticket, they have until Sept. 28 to claim the prize. If no winner comes forward, all the states participating in Mega Millions will be refunded their proportional contribution to the jackpot.