04/10/2012 : MACDONALD WORKER'S CLAIM TO RECORD LOTTERY WIN A SHAM
 
The real Maryland winners step forward
 
For the past week a MacDonald's Maryland employee, thirty-seven-year old Mirlande Wilson, has strung the media and the public along, claiming to be the one third winner of this month's record $656 millions.
 
On Tuesday her fabrication was exposed when the real winners, retaining their anonymity but disclosing their professions, stepped forward.
 
The Reuters news service reported that three claimants were confirmed as the Maryland winners, an elementary school teacher; a special education teacher and another public school worker in Maryland.
 
The trio shared one of three winning tickets scattered across Maryland, Illinois and Kansas.
 
Each of the three winners who shared the single Maryland ticket will take home $34.997 million after taxes, lottery officials said.
 
Two other winning tickets were sold in Kansas, where a winner came forward, and Illinois, where a winner has not yet surfaced.
 
The three lucky Maryland players invested $20 each to play the $1 game a total of 60 times at three different locations.
 
After striking it rich on March 30, they remained silent for a week while a bizarre story surfaced of the McDonald's worker, who initially claimed she had the winning ticket but then said she lost it.
 
Their windfall will be used to pay for dreams as exotic as a backpacking trip through Europe and a wine country tour in Italy and as practical as new homes and a college education for their children, lottery officials said. All said they would invest some of the money.
 
The state of Maryland reaped about $13 million in revenue from the winning ticket, lottery officials said.