The biggest thing Friday (besides The Hunger Games of course) was the Mega Millions. I don’t know about you, but I had my tickets bought and my exotic vacations plans and my new career running a pro bono legal foundation/fund for animals all planned out.
I saw someone tweeted and offered to pay off all the student loan debt of the UM Law’s Class of 2012 if they won. And I’ll admit that I fell for some of the hoaxes on Twitter and elsewhere with people “claiming” to be the winner.
I’m very excited that one of the winning tickets was purchased in Baltimore County. The New York Post first broke the story about the potential Maryland winner — a McDonald’s employee. The story is that the “winner” entered a Mega Millions pool with her coworkers, but the actual winning ticket was a ticket she purchased individually, outside of the pool.
The potential winner, Mirlande Wilson, has already spoken out and has stated that she will not be sharing her winnings with her coworkers. Is this a wise move for her to speak out? What will happen in the resulting legal battle if she did win? The Post article notes that a similar situation has happened before in New Jersey and that the winner was ordered to share his winnings with his coworkers.
A common practice for office Mega Millions pools is to make photocopies of group tickets and distribute the copies to all contributors. If Wilson really bought one more ticket for the office on her way home from work it’ll be her word against her coworkers in court.
Many think it is best to remain anonymous after winning. Maryland is one of the few states in which winners can remain anonymous. Jay Hancock wrote last year about how crucial it is to stay anonymous and to lawyer up after winning big. Also check out the advice of a past Mega Millions winner.
It must be difficult to stay anonymous after winning though. Lottery representatives encourage winners to come forward, and who doesn’t like sharing good news? Here’s a link to a gallery of past winners.