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3 winners, over 100 million Mega Millions losers

By Jim Suhr

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, March 31 2012 3:55 p.m. MDT

Maryland does not require lottery winners to be identified; the Mega Millions winner can claim the prize anonymously. The store will receive a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, which was purchased Friday night.

The third winning ticket was purchased in northeast Kansas, but no other information would be released by the Kansas Lottery until the winner comes forward, spokeswoman Cara S. Sloan-Ramos said.

No winner had contacted the agency by Saturday morning, Kansas Lottery Director Dennis Wilson said. "We sure want to meet the winner, but we want to tell them, sign the back of the ticket and secure it."

Kansas law also allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, though lottery winners in Illinois are identified.

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 won for $24 million.

"We're thrilled," she said. "We're due and excited."

The holder of the winning ticket in Maryland has 182 days to come forward and claim the prize. Winners in Kansas and Illinois have up to one year; but if the Illinois winner wants to be paid in a lump sum, they have to come forward in 60 days, said Lang.

Even though just three tickets matched all the winning numbers, the jackpot made a millionaire of at least three other winners and gave a windfall to more than 100 others. Three ticket-holders won $1 million each, and 158 won $250,000 for matching the first five numbers drawn, said Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association in Urbandale, Iowa.

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

For some, the dreams were enough. Katie Kapczynski bought her first-ever lottery ticket with a roommate at a Washington, D.C., gas station. The attendant had to show her how to buy one.

"We kind of went more for the experience than the 'what if','" she said.

On Saturday morning, Kapczynski, a visitor services manager at the Newseum who was in New York on vacation, had left her $6 in tickets behind at home.

She still doesn't know if she won.

Associated Press reporters Jeffrey McMurray and Jason Keyser in Chicago, Kasey Jones in Milford Mill, Md., John Hanna in Topeka, Kan., Samantha Gross in New York, Margery Beck in Omaha, Neb., and Ed Donahue in Washington contributed to this report.

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