The Minnesota Lottery says the winners of the state’s first Mega Millions jackpot have come forward and claimed the prize.
The winning numbers for the $110 million jackpot were drawn on April 12 and the winning ticket was sold at the Holiday Stationstore at 14350 Xkimo Street in Ramsey, earning the store $50,000 for the ticket sale.
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According to the Minnesota Lottery, the jackpot winners have chosen to remain anonymous – the first time lottery winners have been able to remain anonymous after a new state law took effect in September. However, the winners have allowed parts of their story to be shared publicly.
According to the Minnesota Lottery, the new millionaires are a husband and wife who opted for the cash payment option, worth approximately $66.9 million.
The couple played Minnesota Lottery scratch tickets and shared pizza on their first date, the day the state’s first scratch tickets were sold, April 17, 1990. Thirty-two years later, they are the big winners.
The woman said she played the same numbers, although sometimes changing a number or two, for several years and had been playing faithfully since late last year.
“Thank goodness! If I had seen those numbers and didn’t have a ticket…” she said.
The woman told lottery officials she fell asleep the night of the Mega Millions draw. When she woke up she checked the numbers, recognized them instantly, and kept rechecking them just to make sure she was seeing her numbers.
Her husband was in the basement watching a sporting event at the time. After rechecking his numbers several times, she texted him, “Come here right now, I’m not even kidding,” she said. When her husband saw the numbers, he quickly asked, “Are those your numbers?” and “Do you have a ticket?”
The couple say they only slept for a few hours that night and went to work as usual the next morning, although the woman said she was not very productive. “I did about five minutes of work,” she said.
They have since spoken to relatives and colleagues about it and are now planning their future. As for their immediate plans, they are “typical”, according to the couple: to buy a house and a car, and to travel. Lottery officials said the couple plan to retire this summer.