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Kansas winner of Mega Millions has come forward

A Mega Millions winner has come forward in Kansas to claim a $218.6 million share of the $656 million total winnings in the massive and massively-hyped lottery jackpot, according to Kansas Lottery officials.

The Kansas winner — who will remain anonymous — is one of three winners across the nation. One winning ticket was purchased in Baltimore County. The third was purchased in Illinois.

The Kansas winner plans to take the cash option, $157.9 million, according to lottery officials there.

"We were so thrilled to meet with the winner earlier today and welcome the winner to the Kansas millionaire family," Dennis Wilson, Kansas Lottery executive director, said Friday. "Even though the winner has elected to remain anonymous, there is great reason for celebration across the state. This jackpot is a mega win for not only the prize winner, but lottery retailers as well as the State of Kansas."

The cash value of the total winnings is about $462 million, and each of the three winners — who all hit on all of the Mega Millions numbers, including the Megaball number — can claim an annuity option of $218.6 million or a cash option of $157.9 million.

A total of 1 billion tickets were reportedly sold nationwide. Kansas sold 3.5 million, according to the Kansas Lottery.

The winner purchased the ticket at Casey's General Store 2668 in Ottawa, Kan. The store will receive a $10,000 selling bonus from the Kansas Lottery.

The jackpot amount was originally estimated at $640 million but with sales from all 44 Mega Millions jurisdictions calculated and totaled, the final jackpot amount for the drawing came to $656 million dollars. That record-shattering amount was the result of unprecedented sales as the prize grew.

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