Merle And Patricia Butler (Video)

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 | comments

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo playerMerle And Patricia Butler (Video)---Merle and Patricia Butler accepted the third and final portion of the $656 million prize on Wednesday: The last of the Mega Millions lottery winners are Merle and Patricia Butler, a married couple from Red Bud, Ill., and they came forward to claim their share in the biggest jackpot in lottery history today.

The lifelong residents of Red Bud discovered they had won the night of the drawing with a $3 quickpick ticket. They watched the numbers be read on the news and Merle Butler, 65, jotted down the numbers on a pad. He went to his wallet to get the tickets and immediately noticed he had the Mega Ball number.

"I thought, 'I might win something," Merle Butler said at the news conference. "The further I went, the more they matched. After I looked at it for a couple minutes, I turned to my wife and said, 'We won.'"

"She kind of looked at me funny and I said, 'No, we won.' And then she started giggling," Merle Butler said with a laugh. "She giggled for about four hours."

The couple stayed up all night watching the news and surfing the Internet to find out how many winners they would be sharing their prize with. By 6 a.m., they knew there were two other winning tickets and they took theirs to a bank lock box first thing in the morning.

Merle Butler recalled a teller jokingly asking if they had come to lock up their winning ticket.

He laughed and said lightly, "Yeah, I won and I have to put this thing away." The teller laughed, not knowing he was telling the truth.

The newly-minted multimillionaires decided or a one-time lump sum of $157.8 million.

The couple only told five family members and close friends that they had won. When it was announced that one of the three winning tickets had been sold in Red Bud, the mystery winner became the talk of the town.

"People kept asking me if I won and I kept laughing it off and saying, 'Yeah, sure. I won it," Merle Butler said. "I've answered most of them truthfully that yes I did, but they didn't catch it."

For the next three weeks, the couple quietly worked with out-of-town legal and financial advisers before coming forward. Butler, a retired computer analyst, said that the win has been like "another full-time job."

"I'm not looking for sympathy, I'm just saying it's a bit of work to set all this up," he said.

The couple were coy about how they would spend the money, saying they had a good team of financial advisers and lawyers that were helping them set things up. They did say that they loved their hometown and had no plans to move.

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