At least 3 win Mega Millions jackpot; 1 in Illinois

March 31, 2012 8:17:08 AM PDT
Illinois is home to a Mega Millions winner! Lottery officials announced early Saturday that at least three winning tickets were sold in three different states. The other two are Kansas and Maryland.

The winning Illinois ticket was sold at the Red Bud Motomart in Red Bud, Ill., which is in the southwestern part of the state close to Missouri.

The person who bought that ticket will split the record-breaking $640 million jackpot with the other winners. If the number of winners remains at three, each person will receive approximately $213.3 million.

Twelve second-place winners bought their tickets in the Chicago area. They will receive $250,000 each.

The winner who bought the ticket in Illinois used Quick Pick to select the numbers.

ABC7 Chicago talked to the store employee who took the call from the lottery official Saturday at 7 a.m.

"He asked me if I knew I sold one of the winning tickets, and I said I didn't know that because I wasn't able to look yet. And he said, 'Well , how do you feel?' And I said, "Well, kind of weird,'" Jenna Smith said over the telephone.

The winning numbers drawn Friday night were 2-4-23-38-46 and the Mega Ball number was 23.

The odds of winning are about 1 in 176 million, lottery officials said. All together, Americans spent $1 billion for a chance to win the Mega Millions jackpot.

Lottery players in Chicago made a last-minute rush for the riches Friday night.

Illinois ticket sales topped $2 million dollars per hour, which equals more than $33,000 a minute.

Bob Chen bought $2,000-worth of tickets for a group he organized on Facebook.

"Actually,I have to upload these tickets online to make sure everybody in my group has the numbers, so they know I didn't cheat or do anything, you know, suspicious," Chen said.

One of those tickets could also be a winner.

If, by chance, you did win, here are a few tips: First, calm down long enough to sign the back of the ticket. That will prevent anyone else from claiming your prize if you lose it. Then, make a photocopy and lock the ticket in a safe or somewhere it is protected. Next, contact lawyer and financial planner. Lastly, while you may be tempted to update your Facebook status, contact a lawyer and financial planner instead!

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