One Mega Millions miracle has turned into nothing short of a mess.
The Mega Millions mania that hit the nation just last week ended with three winners claiming golden tickets for the $656 million cash prize. One winner was announced from Illinois, another from Kansas and a third from Baltimore. But the supposed Maryland winner has turned this jackpot into a Mega Millions mess.
Mirlande Wilson, 37, told the New York Post that she has no intention of sharing her $105 million portion of the $656 million jackpot with her McDonald's co-workers, who say they pooled their cash for lottery tickets. Wilson swears she purchased the winning ticket herself.
"We had a group plan, but I went and played by myself. [The 'winning' ticket] wasn't on the group plan," said the Maryland winner.
"I was in the group, but this was separate. The winning ticket was a separate ticket," the single mother of seven said. The New York Post caught up with her as she left church with her fiancé in the destitute neighborhood of Westport.
"I don't know if I won. Some of the numbers were familiar. I recognized some of [them],'' she said. "I don't know why'' people are saying differently. "I'm going to go to the lottery office [today]. I bought some tickets separately."
If Wilson does, in fact, hold a winning ticket she could claim a lump sum of $105 million or $5.56 million each year for 26 years.
The winning Mega Millions numbers for the record-breaking jackpot were: 2, 4, 23, 38 and 46, and the Mega Ball 23.
If Mirlande Wilson purchased the Mega Millions ticket with her coworkers at McDonald's, she is in for a mess of trouble. The case would echo that of New Jerseyan Americo Lopes, who tried to swindle his five former colleagues out of their fair share of a $38.5 million jackpot win from November 2009. A Union County jury ordered Lopes to share the money from the win with the five men he worked construction with, according to the New York Times.
Wilson's saga might end in a similar fashion if she winds up being the legitimate winner and if she used money from an office pool to purchase the winning ticket.
"She can' t do this to us!" Suleiman Osman Husein, a shift manager who was one of a reported 15 members in the pool, told the Post. "We each paid $5. She took everybody's money!" Another man, who is the boyfriend of a McDonald's employee, said Wilson purchased the ticket for the group at the 7-Eleven in Millford Mill, where the winning ticket was sold.
After her shift on Friday, Mirlande Wilson reportedly headed to the 7-Eleven to purchase Mega Millions tickets for the pool with $5 she received from the owner of the McDonald's, Birul Desai. However, Wilson denies this. She claims she purchased a second group of tickets for herself with an unidentified friend and the winning ticket was among that group.
When Wilson told her coworkers that she had won, they were shocked.
One man, identified only as Allen, told the Post that he went to Mirlande Wilson's house to warn her of the consequences of not sharing her piece of the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot.
"These people are going to kill you. It's not worth your life!" Allen said he told Wilson, after knocking on her door for 20 minutes. "All right! All right! I'll share, but I can't find the ticket right now," she finally said, according to Allen.
Mirlande Wilson has not yet been confirmed as a Mega Millions winner. Lottery spokeswoman Carole Everett said Monday that no one had come forward with a ticket sold at a 7-Eleven store in Baltimore, according to FOX News.
The winners in Illinois and Kansas have not yet come forward, although it is known that the winning ticket in Illinois was sold at a convenience store in the small town of Red Bud.