A group of three public school employees in Maryland came forward to claim their share of the record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot today, CNN reported. They’ve chosen to remain anonymous.
According to lottery officials, the winners are an elementary school teacher, a special education teacher and an administrative worker, the Baltimore Sun reported. Each of the winners works several jobs to cover their bills. The group includes a woman in her 20s, a man in his 40s and a woman in her 50s.
"If it can't be you, these are precisely the people that you would want to see win the lottery," Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery, said, according to CNN.
The group elected to a lump sum payout rather than annual payments, so each will take home $35 million after taxes, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Lottery officials said that the winners’ plans for spending the money included investing and buying new homes and travel, CNN reported. One said she wanted to take a backpacking trip through Europe with her brother; another planned to visit Italy’s wine country; and the third said he would use his winnings to fund his daughters' college educations and buy his sister a house.
All three winners told lottery officials they’re keeping their jobs, the Baltimore Sun reported. "They were so clearly committed to their kids," Martino said, according to the Baltimore Sun. "When we asked them, 'Are you going to continue to teach?' [the two classroom teachers] said, 'Yes, I can't give up my kids.' "
The group bought their winning ticket at a 7-Eleven in Milford Mills at 7:15pm, mere hours before the drawing, the Baltimore Sun reported. That 7-Eleven gets $100,000 for selling the winning ticket.
Besides Maryland, winning tickets were sold in Kansas and Illinois. The Kansas winner anonymously claimed their prize last week.
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The Illinois winner has a year to claim their winnings, but state law will require them to reveal their identity, CNN reported.
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