Three amigos pocket an eyewatering $218m MegaMillions lottery win

Mearle and Patricia Butler

Mearle and Patricia Butler picking up $218.6m!

We see some big old jackpots reported here at Euro Millions but Merle and Patricia Butler went down in lottery winning folklore when they won an astounding $218.6 million on the Mega Millions lottery in March, 2012.

The sixty something couple from Red Bull, Illinois, shared the stunning jackpot prize of $656 million with an anonymous winner from Ottawa in Kansas and a syndicate of three teachers who called themselves “The Three Amigos” from Milford Mill, Maryland. However, it was only the Butlers who came forward publicly to claim their share of the prize.

Merle and Patricia decided to opt to take the lump sum of $157 million immediately rather than choosing to be rewarded with the full $218.6 million spread over the course of a number of months.


The married couple also confirmed that they had “giggled for four hours” when they found out that their $3 quick pick ticket had won them the huge sum of money in the Mega Millions lottery. Merle saw the results come up on the news and decided to check his ticket noticing that he had matched the Mega Ball.

Merle stated “I thought, ‘I might win something. The further I went [checking the ticket], the more they matched. After I looked at it for a couple minutes, I turned to my wife and said, ‘We won.'”

He added “She kind of looked at me funny and I said, ‘No, we won.’ And then she started giggling.”

The couple reminisced about how they had stayed up all night waiting to see if there were any other winners and to see whether they had won the entire jackpot sum or a share of it. As information came in, the couple realised they were sharing the jackpot prize with two other winning tickets. As soon as the clock hit 6am, the couple went to a local bank lock box.

Patricia remembered how the worker at the bank had joked if she was coming to lock away her winning lottery ticket and she surprised the worker by saying that was exactly what she was doing.

Coming forward into the public domain was not a move that the Butlers had done with an irrational perspective. They had spent weeks speaking to legal representatives and financial advisors before deciding to come forward to claim the prize.

The couple continued to possess a shrewd nature when asked how they would spend the money. They remained tight lipped saying that they would continue to speak with their financial advisors and take the time to consider their next move.

The winning numbers that appeared on the Butlers’ winning ticket were 2, 4, 23, 38, 46 and the Mega Ball number of 23. All winners of the Mega Millions that reside in Illinois are required to come forward publicly due to state regulation in order to prove that they are the winners. This is not the case with the two other states from where the two sets of anonymous winners that shared the prize with the Butlers come from.

Filed Under: Stories From America


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