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Mirlande Wilson spared from suit as Mega Millions winner emerges

Justice SystemMega Millions Lottery

The air went out of Mirlande Wilson’s tale about a Mega Million’s jackpot ticket hidden at a Windsor Mill McDonald's Tuesday, when lottery officials announced that the actual winners have come forward – and produced the winning ticket.

The timing likely will save Wilson a court battle.

Wilson, a 37-year-old mother of seven, was sued Monday in Baltimore City Circuit Court by Mandisa Mazibuko of Germantown in an attempt to block Wilson from cashing. Mazibuko also sought $1 million in damages, plus interest and court costs.

The Sun spent $16.50 to get a copy of the civil lawsuit, which revealed details about the dispute that brewed at the McDonald’s at 8227 Liberty Road following the March 30 Mega Millions drawing. The documents say that 16 people, mostly McDonald’s workers, contributed to a lottery pool and that Wilson was trying to bilk the rest of them of their rightful winnings.

Mazibuko sought immediate action for fear that Wilson would “deplete” the money and “if given the opportunity, she will continue her efforts to deprive her co-winners of their rightful share in the proceeds,” according to the filing.

Mazibuko does not work at McDonald’s and allegedly participated in the pool through a friend.

“Wilson’s public appearances, media games, and evasive behavior have only become more confusing and unpredictable,” the suit says.

The suit says that participants of the pool each paid $5 and verbally agreed to split the winnings equally if any of their tickets hit the jackpot.

Michael Schatzow, an E. Pratt Street attorney who represented Mazibuko, said his client is withdrawing the request for the court to issue a temporary restraining order intended to stop Wilson from cashing the ticket.

So what’s Wilson’s explanation? Did she think she had the winning ticket? Was she playing a gag?

It’s unclear. Wilson did not return phone messages. Her lawyer, Edward Smith Jr., didn’t lend any clarity either. He supposed that her belief she had the winning ticket had been an error. As for how the mistake may have happened, Smith said he wouldn’t disclose any more information, citing attorney-client privilege.

The suit is below, but check out some of our other coverage of Mega Millions fever:

Three Maryland educators share in Mega Millions winnings

What's up with Mirlande Wilson's 'Sweet Swine' cap?

Possible Mega Millions lottery winner says she lost ticket

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