Photos: Mega Millions winners announced in Red Bud

Photos: Mega Millions winners announced in Red Bud

The final winners of the Mega Millions Lottery came forward during a press conference in Red Bud, Illinois Wednesday morning. A $3 quick-pick earned Merle and Patricia Butler of Red Bud, Illinois a share of the record Mega Millions jackpot. The Butlers are retired and have been life-long residents of Red Bud. The Butlers were presented with a check for $218,666,667. Mr. Butler decided to accept the prize as a lump-sum payment of $111 million after taxes.

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 6:33 AM

RED BUD, Illinois (KMOV.com) -- The final winners of the Mega Millions Lottery came forward during a press conference in Red Bud, Illinois Wednesday morning.
 
A $3 quick-pick earned Merle and Patricia Butler of Red Bud, Illinois a share of the record Mega Millions jackpot. The Butlers are retired and have been life-long residents of Red Bud.

The Butlers were presented with a check for $218,666,667. Mr. Butler decided to accept the prize as a lump-sum payment of $111 million after taxes.
 
What would you do if you won $218 million? Share your thoughts.

Merle said he was watching the drawing on his TV and realized he won.

"After I looked at it for a couple minutes I turned to my wife, who was right there with me, and says 'we won,' Merle recalled. "and she kinda looked at me funny and I says, 'no we won.' Then she started giggling. And she giggled for about four hours I think. "
 
After reality set in, Merle went straight to the bank to lock the ticket in a safety deposit box.

Merle recalled being asked by numerous people if he was the mystery winner.  He said he did not lie about it, but rather played it off as a joke.

Merle Butler says he and his wife have been meeting with financial advisors and lawyers since the drawing. He says they're working on an investment strategy and could "possibly" take a vacation with their new cash.
 
The Butlers say they don't plan to move out of Red Bud, which has about 3,700 residents. Merle Butler says Red Bud is "a nice, comfortable, family-oriented community" that they've called home for a long time.

They are the only one of the three winners whose names have been made public. Holders of the other tickets in Kansas and Maryland anonymously claimed their prizes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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