Southern Illinois Gas Station Sells $213 Million Lotto Ticket

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By Sam Smith

RED BUD -- There are three winners in all from Friday's Mega Millions drawing, and one lucky southern Illinoisan is $213 million richer, but he or she has yet to come forward.

The name on the $213 million dollar check may be blank, but it's no mystery that it was purchased at a gas station in Red Bud.

"This last week, we've seen a lot of familiar faces, so I'm confident that we sold it to someone here in Red Bud," says Moto Mart Manager Denise Metzger.

Regardless of whether or not the ticket is claimed, Moto Mart will receive $500,000 for selling it.

"I didn't believe it. All week long I was saying, I just wish somebody from Red Bud would win. I never in my wildest dreams ever think that it would really happen," says Metzger.

Mike Lang from the Illinois Lottery says this was the largest payout in Illinois Lottery history. He says the recent interest in the lottery has raised nearly $30 million for the common school fund.

"We had a lot of fun with this run. The biggest jackpot ever. We were doing an excess of $2 million in sales an hour. The terminals were just smoking. Hopefully, we'll do it again in a few months. It's been a lot of fun, it was a great run," says Lang.

Lang isn't surprised a winner hasn't come forward yet. He suggests winners take their time.

"You don't want to rush into it. Particularly, I think they would want to give a lot of weight to whether they want to do the annuitized multi-year payment or the one-time payment," describes Lang.

The lotto winner has one full year to claim his or her prize, but the lump some option is only open for 60 days. With that time limit, people are hoping the mystery to who won this phenomenal price will end sooner rather than later.

Moto Mart did not say what it will do with its newfound fortune. The two other winners of the historical prize live in Maryland and Kansas.
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