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Illinois’ $69-Million Lotto Prize to Be Shared 4 Ways

from Associated Press

There was no $69-million man or woman in Illinois on Sunday, but there were four winners who will have to be content with $17.25 million or so each as their shares of the world’s biggest lottery jackpot.

None of the winners had stepped forward by midday Sunday, but lottery director Sharon Sharp said two of them bought their tickets in the Chicago area, one in west-central Illinois and one in southern Illinois.

“For all of you who said it’s easier to be struck by lightning than to win the Lotto, four people were struck last night, and they struck gold,” Sharp told a news conference.

The winning numbers, drawn Saturday night, were 3, 14, 32, 40, 46, 54.

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The holders of the four winning tickets--be they individuals, couples or groups--will each receive at least $17.25 million before taxes, to be paid out over the next 20 years, she said. The prize may be even larger after final sales figures are tallied today, she said.

Hopeful players from around the country descended on Illinois in the past week and bought tickets in record numbers that enabled lottery officials to pad the prize. Some travelers changed flight plans and stood in long lines at O’Hare International Airport; other players called from as far away as Europe to find out how to get a piece of the action.

Losers, who were bucking odds of 13 million to 1, said they were disappointed but took the loss in stride.

“I just got one ticket because . . . if you’re going to win, you’ll win with one,” said Lonny Taylor, a systems engineer from Chicago. “I didn’t win, but it didn’t bother me at all.”

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