Mega Millions mania has plunged a Maryland McDonald’s into a bubbling cauldron of controversy hotter than a deep-fried apple pie. Workers at the fast-food joint who pooled their cash for tickets are furious at a colleague who claims she won with a ticket she bought for herself and has no intention of sharing. “We had a group plan, but I went and played by myself. [The ‘winning’ ticket] wasn’t on the group plan,” McDonald’s “winner’’ Mirlande Wilson 37, told The Post yesterday, insisting she alone bought one of the three tickets nationwide that will split a record $656 million payout.Yeah, uh huh, okay. If I had a dollar for every time I've read a post-jackpot story like this, then people would think I had won the lottery. But this Mickey D's worker may not be on the up and up in the first place.
Making matters even murkier, the woman later seemed unsure if her numbers matched the $656 million jackpot. "We have nothing to substantiate anything," said Carole Everett, a spokeswoman's for Maryland Lottery. "We're getting no calls." Each one-third share of the record-breaking prize is worth $105 million after taxes, and officials have said winners were drawn in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. Neither of the other two winning ticket holders has stepped forward, either.And who can blame them? After all, they have several months to claim the money. If they have any brains at all, they are setting up a blind trust so they can claim the money and keep their identities secret, like the Ohio resident who won $260 million in 2010.
The Sunbury resident who won Ohio's first Powerball jackpot has come forward -- sort of. His or her identity remains a mystery. Columbus lawyer George Hoffman claimed the prize in behalf of the winner July 6, placing the winnings in a blind trust to preserve the winner's anonymity. Hoffman declined to comment about his client for this story. ... In a blind trust, winners pay an attorney to set up the trust to keep their identities out of public records available to the media, Ohio Lottery spokeswoman Marie Kilbane said. Blind trusts are most common in games with multi-million-dollar jackpots, particularly multi-state games such as Powerball and Mega Millions. The anonymity protects the individual from unwanted attention, Kilbane said.But only about five percent of large jackpot winners use blind trusts to claim the prize. So, if you play the lottery (I do not) and win big, take your time and "go blind" if allowed in your state.