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Does That Woman in Maryland Really Have One of the Winning Lottery Tickets?

“These people are going to kill you.  It’s not worth your life!”

(JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

A Maryland McDonald’s employee claims to have the yet-unclaimed winning lottery ticket worth around $105 million. But there are several catches - for one thing, she says she only recognizes "some of" the numbers on her ticket, and her co-workers are saying they pooled their money for the tickets, making the winning ticket theirs as opposed to just hers.

First, there's the matter of whether she actually has the ticket. Fox DC reports:

Pressed as the day went on, she became more cagey.

"I don't know if I won," she said. "Some of the numbers were familiar. I recognized some of [them]. I'm going to go to the lottery office [Monday]. I bought some tickets separately."

With winning tickets also sold in Illinois and Kansas, a single Maryland winner would get an after tax lump sum of $105 million, or $5.59 million a year for 26 years.

So it's far from clear whether the story is true. And even if it is, Wilson may owe some of that money to her coworkers, even though she claims she bought the ticket separately from them.

'We had a group plan, but I went and played by myself. [The ‘winning’ ticket] wasn’t on the group plan,' Mirlande Wilson told The New York Post.

The Post explains:

The group’s tickets — along with a list of those who contributed to the pool — were left in an office safe at the burger joint…

Then, late Friday, before the night’s drawing, the owner of the McDonald’s, Birul Desai, gave Wilson $5 to buy more tickets for the pool on her way home from work, and she went back to the 7-Eleven and bought them, Allen [a man who contributed to the pool] said.

Wilson took those tickets home with her, Allen said.

But Wilson insisted yesterday that she had bought the second batch with an unidentified pal — not for the pool — and that the winning ticket was among them.

The 37-year old Haitian immigrant and single mother of seven reportedly surprised her colleagues, calling them to yell, “I won! I won!” after the numbers were revealed.

Now, after incurring the wrath of her co-workers, she has begun to concede.

One of the men who contributed to the pool reportedly told her, “These people are going to kill you.  It’s not worth your life!”  She responded, “All right!  All right!  I’ll share, but I can’t find the ticket right now.”

However, lottery officials have reviewed the security footage of the 7-Eleven where the ticket was purchased and believe that a man bought the winning ticket.  If Wilson indeed has it, it is unclear why she has waited so long to claim her winnings.

“It’s all bulls—t, if you ask me,” said Birul Desai, the McDonald’s owner.

Wilson had previously said that she would show up to claim her winnings today. However, she was a no-show at Maryland lottery offices, suggesting the story may actually be untrue. Watch a local report on the confusing incident here:

One last thing…
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