Though it has been three days since the results of the Mega Millions Lottery were announced Friday, the winning ticketholders are yet to claim their cut of the record-breaking $656 million jackpot.
Despite reports of a McDonald's employee in Maryland holding one of the three winning tickets, the state lottery's spokeswoman Carole Everett reportedly told the AFP that, There were no winners today coming in to claim their Mega Millions jackpot.
According to the Associated Press (AP), the ownership dispute surrounding the winning ticket in Maryland is purely speculation.
The trouble over the ticket reportedly began when winning ticket holder Mirlande Wilson refused to share her cut with her co-workers, who claim to have jointly purchased the lottery tickets. Birul Desai, the owner of the franchise where Wilson works, said that the ticket should first be verified before any conclusions are drawn.
Lottery officials added that between the two winning tickets, one was purchased in Kansas and the other one was sold in the small town of Red Bud, Illinois.
The jackpot, which was previously estimated at $640 million, now totals to a whopping $656 million after sales from all 44 Mega Millions lotteries were tallied. The new millionaires can, therefore, claim around $218 million apiece, which the Chicago Tribune estimated will be more than $150 million.
According to the Associated Press, Kansas and Maryland winners can claim their share anonymously while Illinois will publicly identify its winner. Winners have several months time to claim their prize.
If by chance the unidentified winners don't show up to collect their winnings within the time limit, officials on their website said that, Each participating state in the Mega Millions game will get back all the money that state contributed to the unclaimed jackpot. Each state uses its unclaimed lottery prizes for different purposes.