Kansas town buzzing over Mega Millions mystery winner
10:18 PM, Apr 6, 2012
1:44 PM, Apr 7, 2012
OTTAWA, Kansas - The buzz about instant riches swept through the small town of Ottawa, Kan.
"The next one is gonna be mine, " said Trecha McWilliams.
"It's gonna be... Are you that mega millions winner?" said Lynn Mitchell.
Someone bought the winning Kansas Mega Millions ticket at the Casey's store on the north side of town.
"We've run everybody through our heads, going... maybe it was this one, maybe it was that one. There's no possible way for us to figure out who it is," said Tina
Henricks, the Casey's manager. "It's Ottawa, nothing exciting happens in Ottawa. So for it to actually happen, it's amazing."
The winner has chosen to stay anonymous.
So on Friday afternoon, lottery officials in Topeka gave the ceremonial check to a cardboard cutout instead of a real person.
They won't say whether the winner actually lives in Ottawa, or even if it's a man or woman.
"(If) anybody quits that I know out there, I'll be like..they might have won," said Jered Weldin.
The Casey's where the winning Quick Pick was sold ended up selling 1,600 tickets on the day of the drawing.
That means there are a lot of people walking around town thinking, "That could have been me."
"I was just telling our roommate, man, a couple of hours difference here or there...it might have been our tickets," said Clinton Weldin.
He and his brother Jered live two blocks away.
They bought $20 worth of tickets Friday because their father told them to - and because the jackpot was so big.
Clinton said, "I never would have bought a lottery ticket otherwise."
Ottawa is almost an hour southwest of Kansas City, in Franklin County.
The winner is a Kansas resident who will soon have $110.5 million transferred to his or her bank account. That's the winning share, lump sum, after taxes.
The State of Kansas received almost $8 million of the money spent on tickets.
On the Missouri side, $30 million from ticket sales will go back into schools this month.
That exceeds the previous record of $29 million for a single month.