Winning tickets in $414M Mega Millions jackpot sold in Maryland, Florida

  • This is Waterbury Liquors in Crownville, where a $1 million lottery ticket was sold.
This is Waterbury Liquors in Crownville, where a $1 million… (Barbara Haddock Taylor,…)
March 19, 2014|By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun

A liquor store in La Plata will get $100,000 and Maryland will get more than $10.1 million in tax revenue, but as of Wednesday night the big winner — the person or persons holding a winning ticket in the $414 million Mega Millions lottery — was unknown.

Lottery officials said one of two winning tickets in Tuesday's Mega Millions was sold at Lady's Liquors, on Crain Highway in La Plata. The second ticket was sold in Florida, and the two winners will split the prize.

The cash option for the Maryland half of the jackpot is estimated at $76.4 million, after taxes.

Winning numbers were 11, 19, 24, 33 and 51, and a Mega Ball of 7.

The person with the Charles County ticket manually selected the numbers, lottery officials said. No one had come forward Wednesday to claim the winning Maryland ticket.

Jay Jhala, manager of Lady's Liquors, said he had no idea who the winner may be, though "We've been getting lots of calls from customers asking about it."

As the retailer selling the winning ticket, Lady's Liquors gets a $100,000 prize. "We would mostly put the money back in the store," Jhala said.

The winner has 182 days to approach lottery officials with the ticket, but the identity of the winner may never be publicly known. Maryland is one of six states that allows lottery winners to remain anonymous.

"We would encourage them to sign the back of the ticket, safeguard the ticket and get advice from an attorney or financial adviser," said Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino. "It's clearly a life-changing event and it's better to do that planning in advance."

The winning ticket in Florida was sold at a Sunoco gas station in Merritt Island, officials said.

Eight other tickets, including one sold in Maryland, matched all five numbers in the drawing except the Mega Ball. Each of those tickets is worth a $1 million prize, lottery officials said. That Maryland "second-tier" ticket was sold at Waterbury Liquors on Generals Highway in Crownsville. Management at Waterbury Liquors management could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Tuesday's jackpot was the seventh-largest in U.S. history and the third-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won. The largest remains $656 million, split among Mega Millions winners in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois in 2012.

An Anne Arundel County man won a $189 million Mega Millions jackpot in October 2013.

Huge jackpots have become more common in recent years, and lottery officials believe more people are holding out on playing until jackpots grow extremely large. This jackpot had been building since Jan. 3. The game is offered in Maryland and 42 other states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Orlando Sentinel and Nayana Davis of The Baltimore Sun contributed to this article.

cwells@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cwellssun

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