America

She Hasn't Checked Her Pants: Lotto 'Winner' Loses Jackpot Ticket

Either her pants are on fire or maybe she's extremely unlucky, but self-declared Mega Millions winner Mirlande Wilson has a really big problem. She's mislaid her very valuable lottery ticket.

Where could it be?

The tale began last week when Wilson stepped forward to say she was one of the three winners of the record-setting Mega Millions lottery, whose jackpot was worth $656 million dollars. One winning ticket was sold in Illinois and another in Kansas, where AP says an unidentified winner has come forward. The third ticket was sold in Baltimore. That's where Wilson announced her good fortune. But her unfolding story has had more curves than a pitch from Roger Clemens.

At the beginning of the week, the purported winner told the New York Post that she stashed the ticket in an "undisclosed location". On Tuesday, the heat began to rise when some of Wilson's co-workers at a Baltimore McDonald's restaurant disputed her sole ownership of the ticket. They claimed Wilson purchased lotto tickets for a group of people and was cutting them out of their rightful portion. No matter, Wilson told the Post, she wasn't planning on sharing anyway, because the winner was a ticket she'd actually bought for herself.

Then she dropped this startling news: she'd actually hidden the winning ticket inside the McDonald's restaurant in a place that only she knew about. This surprised the restaurant's owner, who later told the Baltimore Sun he had no evidence of her action at all.

By Wednesday Wilson had a lawyer and scheduled a news conference. She arrived late and refused to speak. Her lawyer scolded reporters, saying Wilson only wanted privacy. However, the Sun reports, he also admitted he hadn't seen the winning ticket, and didn't even know if it existed.

Maryland Lottery officials held a news conference of their own on Thursday, saying no one has stepped forward as a winner; they're worried that frauds might make the real winner throw away the prize ticket without double-checking the numbers.

But like Scheherazade, Wilson's got a new story today. She's lost her ticket. As she told the Post, "I'm still looking for it. I haven't even looked in my uniform pants yet...I'm still looking everywhere to find it, in my purse, everywhere."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: