If you won the winning lottery number, would you keep it quiet? This is a constant debate among lottery players – to announce your win or not.
Last month a retired couple from Red Bud, Illinois won $157,800,000 in one of the largest of the global lotteries, the Mega Millions draw, and for three weeks kept the news to themselves.
Merle and Patricia Butler bought a $3 ticket from their local store and watched the draw reported on the television news. Merle wrote the winning numbers on a pad and compared them with the ticket in his wallet. He spotted that they had matched the Mega Ball number and then each of the other numbers matched. He looked at the ticket for a few moments and then calmly told Patricia they had won.
Patricia started giggling and, as Merle puts it, “She giggled for about four hours!”
Like so many lottery winners, they both stayed awake that night watching the news and checking the Internet to see if they had to share the prize with anyone. In the morning they knew there were two other jackpot winners and then took the ticket with its winning lottery number and locked in the local bank.
The couple only told five close family members and then calmly worked with legal and financial advisers from outside the town while the local press and their neighbours desperately tried to find out who had won the top prize. It was known the winner came from the town and a couple of other people were ‘accused’ of being the lucky player but nobody guessed the real winners.
Sadly, unlike several other American states, Illinois requires all the jackpot winners to go public in order to show the money is fairly allocated but the Butlers ensured they had everything in order before they held a press conference.
Merle told reporters that winning the money on this, one of the largest global lotteries, was like a full-time job in itself but it will certainly make their retirement a lot more comfortable. They have no intentions of moving away from their hometown and want to help their children and four grandchildren in the best way they can.
Sometimes the story of someone who has matched the winning lottery number shows they deserve their good luck.