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Mega Millions Jackpot Claimed By Three Maryland School Workers

4/10/2012 1:11 PM ET

Lottery officials announced Tuesday that three Maryland public school system employees, who call themselves the "three amigos," won a share of the record Mega Millions $656 million jackpot.

The three employees, whose names are being kept anonymous, consist of an elementary school teacher, a special education instructor and an administrative employee. The three chose to split the cash option of $158 million. Each will receive just under $35 million after taxes, according to Maryland lottery officials.

The trio bought 60 tickets together, spending $20 each and agreed to evenly split the $218.6 million portion of the grand prize, lottery officials said. "It's gratifying to know that these individuals, who have given so much to the public through the years, have had this wonderful luck. It couldn't have happened to nicer people." Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino said in a statement.

The winners are a woman in her 20s, a man in his 40s and another woman in her 50s. The youngest of the group held onto the tickets and checked them immediately following the drawing.

"I had all 60 tickets spread across my floor," she said. "Once I realized one was a winner, I called my two friends right away."

"That evening, I forgot about the drawing and went to sleep," said one winner. "It was around 11:30 p.m., and my phone just kept ringing and ringing. I finally decided to answer it, thinking something was wrong."

Once she picked up, the two other winners were on the phone and said, "Get dressed. We're coming over right now."

The morning after the March 30th drawing, lottery officials determined that one of the three winning tickets had been purchased at a Baltimore-area 7-Eleven. A McDonald's employee claimed she had the winning ticket from Maryland but it was later confirmed that she did not.

The other tickets were purchased in Kansas and Illinois.

by RTT Staff Writer

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