Mark Taylor
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The largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history missed Gardner by a mere 25 miles.
Dennis Wilson, executive director of the Kansas Lottery, announced April 6 that one of three winning tickets in the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot was an Ottawa resident who chose to remain anonymous.
“Kansas law allows the person to remain anonymous,” Wilson said. “This person has chosen that option.
“The person looks forward to retirement.”
Wilson said the anonymous millionaire’s share of the prize was $218 million, but they chose to take a lump payment of $157.9 million and will receive about $110 million after taxes.
He added that the person had secured legal counsel and a financial advisor before turning in the winning ticket.
Wilson said the winning ticket was purchased at Casey’s General Store, 940 N. Main St., in Ottawa. The store received a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
The two other winning tickets were sold in Illinois and Maryland.
“This proves that real people really win,” Wilson said during the press conference.
Gardner is no stranger to lottery winners.
Two Gardner residents won separate Powerball lotteries in the early 1990s.
One resident won $17.6 million in March, 1993, and another won $12.2 million in May, 1994.