Illinois Mega Millions Winners Unmasked

Retiree Merle Butler says he stuffed ticket in safe-deposit box

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 18, 2012 10:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Nosy people of the world, rejoice! Illinois, unlike Maryland and Kansas, doesn't let its lotto winners remain anonymous, which means you can now know the face of a couple who are a whole lot richer, after stepping forward today to claim the third winning Mega Millions ticket. "It's very exciting," Merle and Patricia Butler told at a press conference in the tiny town of Red Bud. The couple say they have no plans to leave Red Bud, reports the New York Post. “She started giggling and she giggled for about four hours, I think," says Merle Butler of his wife's reaction to the win.

Merle Butler explained that he took his winning ticket to the bank right when it opened at 9am to put it in a lockbox. "Someone joked, 'Oh, I guess you came over to put your ticket in it,'" he says. "She doesn't know til right now I actually had my ticket in it." Merle Butler, a retired computer analyst, noted a few times that "now it looks like I have another full-time job," though he added that he has enlisted the aid of "good financial advisers and a good attorney." As for any future purchases, "possibly a vacation," he says.

Mega Millions lottery ticket forms.
Mega Millions lottery ticket forms.   (Getty Images)
  (MSNBC)
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