BALTIMORE (AP) — The Maryland Lottery on Tuesday validated a winning Mega Millions ticket purchased by an accountant who teaches the Wiccan religion.
Elwood "Bunky" Bartlett said he will take a lump sum cash payment. His quarter share of Friday's Mega Millions jackpot amounts to about $48.6 million, or $32.6 million after taxes. He took the cash option because he can invest the money better than anyone else, Bartlett said after a meeting with lottery officials at the agency's headquarters in Baltimore.
Bartlett, 40, of Dundalk, said his win will allow him to devote his time to teaching people about Wicca, a nature-based religion. He said he also wants to buy a big house with a pool, but he doesn't plan to stop eating at McDonald's or buying his clothes at Wal-Mart.
Bartlett holds one of four winning tickets for Friday's estimated jackpot of $330 million. As of Tuesday afternoon no one had publicly stepped forward to claim the other three winning tickets, which were sold in New Jersey, Texas and Virginia.
The odds that any ticket would match all five numbers — 8, 18, 22, 40 and 44, plus the Mega Ball number of 11 — were one in 176 million.