Biggest Lottery Winners Identity Revealed
A couple from Red Bud, Illinois have come forward to reveal their identity as one of the lucky winners in the biggest lottery in history. INSIDE EDITION has the story.
Mystery solved! A lucky couple just claimed the final share of the record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot.
Merle and Patricia Butler were introduced at a ceremony in their picturesque hometown of Red Bud, Illinois, population 3,700.
Merle told the press, "I turned to my wife who was right there with me and said, 'We won.' She looked at me funny and I said, 'No, we won,' and she began giggling. She giggled for about four hours."
Mayor Tom Lowry had this to say about the big day.
"They're very friendly. Good people. They've lived here a very long time," said Lowry.
At a reception following the big announcement, about 100 friends and neighbors said they're thrilled for the new Mega Millions winners.
Merle showed the nation the winning ticket he bought at a Motomart convenience store in Red Bud.
The couple couldn't sleep the night of the drawing more than 2 weeks ago after realizing they'd won. The next day, Merle went to his bank to put the winning ticket in a lock box for safe keeping.
"One of the people I know at the bank, as I was walking in the door to put the ticket in a lockbox said, 'I guess you've come over to put your ticket away.' I said, 'Yeah, I won this thing and I've got to get this thing put away,' and I just laughed it off. She doesn't know until right now, that I really had that ticket," said Merle.
Here's what we know about the Mega Millions winners. Merle is 65 and Patricia is 62. They're retired computer analysts with a son and daughter and two grandchildren.
Patricia said, "We still have baby sitting things to do."
They've lived in a modest house in Red Bud for the past 35 years. There's a motor home sitting in the driveway.
INSIDE EDITION spoke to their neighbor who said, "It's incredible that they've kept it so quiet so long."
Merle and patricia will take a lump sum payout of $158 million, but the luckiest couple in America has no intention of leaving Red Bud.
"We're staying here. We know everybody in Red Bud. I grew up here," said Merle.
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