BALTIMORE(WJZ) — Maryland’s latest Mega Millions winner has come forward…with a story.
The winner chose to remain anonymous and hid his winning $189-million ticket in an unplugged lamp for more than a week until driving through pouring rain Friday to claim his prize at Lottery headquarters.
With a dozen excited family members surrounding the winner, the Anne Arundel County man accepted the second largest jackpot in Maryland’s history. He called the group his “Lucky Family” and they hid their faces behind signs for the publicity photo.
The winner bought 10 Mega Millions tickets at the Dash In on Quarterfield Road in Severn. He often stops there for gas and to play lottery games.
The winner says he dreamed of his relatives saying the winning numbers the night before. He played different combinations of the numbers in his dream, along with his birth month, date and year.
“It’s like they were talking to me about the numbers in the dream,” he said.
A relative called him at work the day after the drawing and told him their favorite store sold the winning ticket. After asking for the jackpot numbers, the winner remembers saying on the phone, “Wow! I got all of those numbers on one line.”
“I cried and I cried,” he said. “Since the economy went down, our life has been tough.”
The man initially hid the ticket under a water jug where he and his wife put their spare change, but settled on hiding the ticket in a light bulb socket after removing one of two bulbs and unplugging the lamp.
The winner selected the cash option and will take home $86 million after state and federal taxes. He is setting up a charity and sharing the money with his large extended family. Many family members said they will pay off their mortgages but have no other plans for the money yet.
The retailer will earn a $100,000 commission for selling the ticket and the state of Maryland will receive more than $11.3 million in tax revenue.
This is the second Maryland Mega Millions jackpot win this year. The first was the $26 million jackpot claimed by a Mt. Airy woman in late February.
All together Maryland has seen 10 Mega Millions jackpot winners. This year alone Maryland had 15 $1 million winners.
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