Mega Millions Winner Steps Forward

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 1:54pm

Final winner of record $656 million jackpot claims share.

The third and final winner of last month's record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot came forward Wednesday in the tiny farming town of Red Bud, Illinois.

Merle Butler says he found out he was a mega-millionaire watching the evening news the night of the drawing.

"After I looked at for a couple of minutes, I turned to wife who was right there, and I said 'We won' and she kind of looked at me funny, and I said 'No, we won' and she started giggling, and she giggled for about four hours I think," Butler said.

Three weeks later the retired computer analysts are still laughing.

It seems with the lawyers, financial advisors and planning winning the lotto has become a full-time job.

"I'm not looking for sympathy, I'm just saying that it's a bit of work to set this all up," Butler laughed.

The lifetime residents of tiny Red Bud, Illinois where the ticket was purchased, say they don't plan to take their new found fortune anywhere else.

"We're staying here. We know everyone in Red Bud. I grew up here and we know everyone, great community," Butler said.

Under Illinois State Lottery rules winners have to accept their winnings publicly, unlike Maryland and Kansas, where the other winning tickets were sold.

Both of those states allow their winners to remain anonymous.
 

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