Marylander quietly claims part of $414 million lottery jackpot prize

No name stated publicly. No cheesy, smiling picture with a big fake check in hand.

That’s how a Marylander who won part of a $414 million lottery jackpot wanted it when the person claimed — extremely quietly — their portion of the winnings late last week.

Officials at the Maryland Lottery simply called the person “the lucky Marylander,” who bought one of two winning tickets in the March 18 drawing. A Florida couple last week claimed the second ticket, which was sold in their state, lottery officials said.

The Maryland and Florida winners each received $115.5 million before taxes. After taxes, the Maryland winner received $76.4 million.

Maryland lottery officials said the person repeated an old advertising phrase, “You have to play to win,” when claiming the prize.

“You have to play your lucky numbers,” the Maryland winner told officials.

The winning numbers matched all six numbers from the drawing: 11, 19, 24, 33 and 51, with a Mega Ball of 7.

Lady’s Liquors, at 6474 Crain Hwy. in La Plata, sold the winning ticket. The store received a $100,000 commission. The winning ticket in Florida was sold at a gas station and convenience store southeast of Orlando.

While some lottery winners immediately claim their prize and bask in the publicity, others are quieter and take their time, lottery officials said. The winner in Maryland had 182 days to claim the prize, and Maryland is one of six states that do not require the winner to disclose their name.

“I can’t provide you with any information because, unfortunately, from a PR standpoint, our winners are not required to reveal their identity,” said Carole Everett, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery. “I don’t know why this person didn’t want their identity revealed.”

She said the fact that the person wanted a few weeks to claim the prize isn’t that rare.

“Some people will rush right in,” she said. “Others are in shock. Some try to get things lined up with their financial adviser or lawyer before coming in to claim their prize.”

Not everyone is “Bunky,” the Dundalk, Md., man who Everett said was “out in front of cameras before we even knew he had won.” Bunky, who more formally goes by Ellwood Bartlett, was a former accountant who won $82.5 million in the lottery jackpot in 2007.

The March $414 million jackpot was the third-largest Mega Millions jackpot, according to officials.

The biggest Mega Millions jackpot was $656 million in 2012 and included three tickets sold in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. Three people who worked in public education shared Maryland’s portion — $218 million — of that jackpot. They called themselves the “Three Amigos” and didn’t want their identities revealed, lottery officials said.

The Mega Millions game is played in 43 states, the District and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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