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3 public school employees win share of Mega Millions

Tuesday - 4/10/2012, 9:55am  ET

Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino told a news conference in Baltimore the winners there were remaining anonymous. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Find out how the lottery winners plan to spend the money.

WTOP's Neal Augenstein reports from Baltimore.

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BALTIMORE - Three public school employees are sharing the spoils of the record Mega Millions jackpot, each taking home nearly $35 million after taxes.

The winning Maryland ticket is one of three nationally that split the $656 million prize. The other tickets were sold in Illinois and Kansas.

Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino said at a news conference in Baltimore the winners will remain anonymous, but he did offer a few tidbits about them.

"If it can't be you, these are precisely the people you would wish would win the lottery," Martino said.

One is an elementary school teacher, another is a special education teacher and the third is an administrative worker. They do not work at the same school, and they hold multiple jobs. One woman is in her 20s, one in her 50s and the man is in his 40s.

They also vary in lottery participation. One plays frequently, while another plays once in a while. The third winner doesn't typically play at all.

Each of the friends put in $20. They purchased 60 tickets at three locations, but the winner -- with numbers 2-4-23-38-46 and Mega Ball 23 -- was picked up at a 7-Eleven store in Milford Mill in Baltimore County. It was randomly selected by a lottery machine.

Martino says the three used a phone tree to tell each other about the big news.

So what will the three do with their spoils?

Plans include backpacking in Europe, a tour of Italy's wine country and paying for a daughter's college education.

All three also planned to buy new homes and invest, officials say.

Maryland has been the home of Mega Millions winners in the past. In 2007, Ellwood "Bunky" Bartlett won roughly $27 million after taxes.

The other winners in the March 30 drawing were picked in Kansas and Illinois. Kansas' winner claimed a share of the jackpot Friday, but decided to remain anonymous. Nobody has come forward in Illinois.

WTOP's Neal Augenstein and the contributed to this report. Follow Neal and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP and The Associated Press and WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)