The Mega Millions winners in Maryland came forward but chose to remain anonymous. After taxes, they will each take home just under $35 million.
Maryland Lottery officials announced Tuesday that the record-breaking Mega Millions winning ticket purchased at a 7-Eleven in the Baltimore area was actually purchased by three people, all of whom have chosen to remain anonymous.
The three friends -- a woman in her 20s, a woman in her 50s and a man in his 40s -- work in Maryland’s public education system. One of the winners is an elementary school teacher, one works in special education and the third is an administrative assistant, NBC News reported, but they all work other jobs as well.
The three will share the $218.6 million portion of the record-breaking $656 million jackpot from March 30.
Lottery officials say the three winners, who referred to themselves as "The Three Amigos," each contributed $20 to purchase 60 tickets at three different locations.
The night of the drawing, the woman who purchased the tickets laid them all out on her floor, watching the winning numbers come in. After collecting herself from a state of disbelief at realizing she'd won, she called her two friends right away.
According to the Maryland Lottery, the winners chose the cash option of $158 million. After taxes, each will take home just under $35 million each.
“We are thrilled that three such deserving Marylanders have won this money,” said Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino. “It’s gratifying to know that these individuals, who have given so much to the public through the years, have had this wonderful luck. It couldn’t have happened to nicer people.”
In their immediate future, one plans to backpack through Europe, another plans to finance his daughter's education, and third will travel to Italy. All three plan to invest and buy homes, NBC Washington reported, and they have already sought the counsel of a financial adviser.
All three have been working multiple jobs, a rep for the Maryland lottery said, according to NBC Washington.
The trio plans to return to work this week, citing "a strong commitment to their students," the lottery official said.
The revelation of "The Three Amigos" as the winners followed more than a week of suspense, during which rumors swirled and another Baltimore-area woman had earlier claimed to be the winner, but later said she lost the ticket. Mirlande Wilson, a single mother of seven, said she had been tasked with guarding Mega Millions tickets from a work pool. After the Mega Millions numbers were announced, Wilson said she had the winning ticket but that she wouldn’t share the spoils – she said she had purchased the winning ticket separately. She held a news briefing last week, flanked by a lawyer, but then later said she had lost the ticket.
The two other winning tickets in the March 30 drawing were sold in Kansas and Illinois. The Kansas winner chose to remain anonymous; the winner in Illinois has not yet come forward.
NBC News contributed to this report.
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