Seven winners of $315 million Mega Millions lottery emerge
SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – The seven winners of a $315 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot have emerged after three days of anonymity to talk about their plans for all that money.”We wanted to stay out of the limelight so we could get our thoughts together,” Kate Juergens, a 25-year-old receptionist, said Friday.The jackpot in Tuesday’s drawing for the multistate game was the second-richest prize won with a single ticket in the history of lotteries in the United States.Juergens said she and her fellow winners, six laboratory workers from Kaiser Permanente medical center in Garden Grove, wanted to stay anonymous for a while so they could get used to the idea of being millionaires. Although each will receive about $25 million before taxes, they all showed up to work Wednesday.Laboratory worker Jennifer Habib said at a news conference she was still in shock but had decided to travel, fix up her house and buy a new car. “I don’t know what to think or feel,” she said.Mariza Cuya, another lab worker, said she will spend part of her winnings on heart surgery her 6-year-old nephew is scheduled to undergo. “We (had) mortgaged a car to help pay for it,” she said, fighting back tears.Just last month, an Oregon family claimed the largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history won by a single ticket, $340 million, in the other big multistate lottery, Powerball. Until then, the richest undivided lottery jackpot in U.S. history was the $314.9 million Powerball jackpot won by a West Virginia man on Christmas Day 2002.On May 9, 2000, the jackpot for the Big Game – the forerunner of Mega Millions – grew to $363 million. But that jackpot was split between two winning tickets.Besides California, Mega Millions is played in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington.