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Mega Millions Numbers Drawn; Illinois Store Sells 1 of 3 Grand-Prize Tickets

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A customer buys Mega Millions lottery tickets at Liquorland on March 30, 2012 in Covina, California The Mega Millions jackpot has reached a high of $640 million before the drawing tonight. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

A customer buys Mega Millions lottery tickets at Liquorland on March 30, 2012 in Covina, California The Mega Millions jackpot has reached a high of $640 million before the drawing tonight. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (AP) — Lottery ticket-holders in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland each selected the winning numbers for the world record-breaking $640 million Mega Millions jackpot, lottery officials said early Saturday.

Illinois’ winning ticket was sold in the small town of Red Bud, near St. Louis, and the winner used a quick pick to select the numbers, Illinois Lottery spokesman Mike Lang said. The Maryland Lottery said it sold a winning ticket at a retail store in Baltimore County.

A winning ticket also was purchased in northeast Kansas, according to the Kansas Lottery website. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a message Saturday morning.

Each winning ticket was expected to be worth more than $213 million before taxes, Lang said. The winning numbers in Friday night’s drawing were 02-04-23-38-46, and the Mega Ball 23.

Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Carole Everett said the last time a ticket from the state won a major national jackpot was in 2008, when a ticket sold for $24 million.

“We’re thrilled,” she said. “We’re due and excited.”

In addition to one Mega Millions grand prize winner in Illinois, there were also 12 second-place winning Mega Millions tickets sold in Illinois, the state lottery said Saturday.

These winners matched five numbers for a prize of $250,000, but one second-place winner used the “Megaplier” feature to up their prize to $1 million. It was sold at the 7-Eleven, 1750 W. Foster Ave. in Chicago.

The other 11 winning second-place tickets were sold at:

–D M Stores Inc. located at 222 N La Salle St. in Chicago
–AG 26th Inc., 3201 W. 26th St. in Chicago
–J & L 66, 3701 E. Washington in East Peoria
–Super One Stop, 3301 W. Chain of Rocks Rd. in Granite City
–Minooka BP Fast N Fresh, 103 N. Ridge Rd. in Minooka
–Rochelle Shell, 505 W. Highway 38 in Rochelle
–Road Ranger, 125 N. Annie Glidden Rd in DeKalb
–Lyford Rd Mobil, 8061 E. State St. in Rockford
–Jewel Food Store, 3240 1147 N. Eola Road in Aurora
–Monee BP Fast n Fresh, 6001 W. Monee Road in Monee
–7-Eleven, 305 N. Barrington Road in Streamwood.

The estimated Mega Millions jackpot dwarfs the previous $390 million record, which was split in 2007 by two winners who bought tickets in Georgia and New Jersey.

Americans spent nearly $1.5 billion for a chance to hit the jackpot, which amounts to a $462 million lump sum and around $347 million after federal tax withholding. With the jackpot odds at 1 in 176 million, it would cost $176 million to buy up every combination. Under that scenario, the strategy would win $171 million less if your state also withholds taxes.

From coast to coast, people stood in line at retail stores Friday for one last chance at striking it rich.

Maribeth Ptak, 31, of Milwaukee, said she only buys Mega Millions tickets when the jackpot is really big and she bought one Friday at a Milwaukee grocery store. She said she’d use the money to pay off bills, including school loans, and then she’d donate a good portion to charity.

“I know the odds are really not in my favor, but why not,” she said.

Sawnya Castro, 31, of Dallas, bought $50 worth of tickets at a 7-Eleven. She figured she’d use the money to create a rescue society for Great Danes, fix up her grandmother’s house, and perhaps even buy a bigger one for herself.

“Not too big — I don’t want that. Too much house to keep with,” she said.

Willie Richards, who works for the U.S. Marshals Service at a federal courthouse in Atlanta, figured if there ever was a time to confront astronomical odds, it was when $640 million was at stake. He bought five tickets.

“When it gets as big as it is now, you’d be nuts not to play,” he said. “You have to take a chance on Lady Luck.”

Ticket sales were frenzied at Chicago-area outlets that sell lottery tickets. Things did not go entirely smoothly for the Illinois Lottery, which takes a cut from the sales. The state lottery’s website, which this week began selling Lotto and Mega Millions tickets online, had technical difficulties that shut out buyers for about a half hour Friday.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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