Mega Millions

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A retired southern Illinois couple has claimed the third and final share of last month's record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot.

Illinois Lottery officials introduced Merle and Patricia Butler at a ceremony in their hometown of Red Bud, where they bought the winning ticket for the March 30 drawing.

The retired analysts chose to accept the prize as a lump-sum payment of $111 million after taxes.

They are the only one of the three winners whose names have been made public. Holders of the other tickets in Kansas and Maryland anonymously claimed their prizes.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

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(via Flickr/Cast a Line)

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Though no one in Missouri was lucky enough to cash in on the Mega Millions jackpot, Missouri educators and students may benefit from the spike in sales of lottery tickets while the jackpot achieved its record-setting amount.

(via Flickr/Rob Lee)

Last week's record Mega Millions drawing made a winner of Illinois schools, too.

WBBM Radio reports that record Illinois lottery sales in the past nine weeks pumped $31.5 million into the fund devoted to public schools.

Lottery officials say that's mostly because of the multistate Mega Millions game that reached an all-time high $656 million before producing three main winners in a drawing Friday.

Everybody, it seems, is talking about tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing because the jackpot's up to a record $640 million. (Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Officials just increased the estimated jackpot, which began today at an already record $540 million.)