Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Is it a Mega bust? A single mom from Maryland has become an international star thanks to claims she won the Mega Millions jackpot. But now she’s sick of the attention.
Mike Hellgren has the latest on whether this is all a hoax.
The owner of the McDonald’s where the alleged winner worked says there is no evidence to support the woman’s claims that she hid the winning ticket somewhere inside the restaurant. And so far no one has come forward to claim the big prize.
The woman who claims she’s Maryland’s Mega Millions winner called a news conference that turned mega bizarre. She wouldn’t talk, and her lawyer said he doesn’t know if she’s the winner.
“I cannot say with any certainty that this ticket exists,” said Edward Smith Jr., attorney.
But the day before, Mirlande Wilson–a single mom of seven–told WJZ the whole family was overjoyed about the prize.
Hellgren: “You told your kids. Are they excited?”
Wilson: “They’re excited because it’s a different life for me.”
“I don’t think she wants to see 15 minutes of fame. I think what she wants to do is raise her children, love ‘em and go on about her business,” Smith said. “Somebody else started this ball down the hill, not Ms. Wilson.”
Now a new rumor is swirling that a man from Glen Burnie is the big winner. His mom bragged about it to a TV station in Mississippi where she lives.
Lottery officials say it’s time for a reality check, pointing out no one has come forward.
“A lot of strange claims were being made. We know there was no shortage of Photoshop lottery tickets on Facebook and Twitter,” said Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery.
Whether Wilson is the mega winner or not, she now wishes she never told anyone anything.
“She still wants to go back to her life and be anonymous,” Smith said. “Let’s be human about this. Come on. It’s just money, people.”
Oh, and what’s she paying her new lawyer?
“I can’t tell you that,” Smith said. “My God, they might as well come down here and get my license right now.”
Lottery officials will be holding a news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss all the rumors. WJZ will bring you any new developments.