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Players ask: Who won Mega Millions in Maryland?

MILFORD MILL, Md. As the media descended on the 7-Eleven on a busy thoroughfare in Baltimore County Saturday morning, envious Mega Millions players had two questions: Who won, and why wasn’t it me? Nyeri Murphy, holding two scratch-off tickets, said she normally plays Powerball. But she drove to neighboring Harford County to buy $70 worth of Mega Millions tickets this week. “I should have bought them here,” she said. TV cameras, reporters and photographers roamed inside and out of the convenience store, less than a mile from Interstate 695. At 7:15 p.m. Friday, someone bought a single Mega Millions ticket there. Lottery officials say that ticket is one of three winning tickets purchased for the record-breaking $640 million prize. The other two were sold in Illinois and Kansas. The harried manager of the 7-Eleven could only repeatedly say “no interviews” to the reporters pressing for details. Customers who pushed through the media crush for their morning coffee, however, were eager to talk. Some had purchased tickets for the next Mega Millions drawing, a measly $12 million, at the machine that produced the winning ticket. None of Jackie Williams’ tickets won, but she said it was “fabulous” that a winning ticket was sold near Baltimore city. “It’s like a small town,” she said. “I’ll bet I’ll know someone who knows the winner.” Victor Edem, who walked out of the 7-Eleven Saturday afternoon with lottery tickets, said he spent $65 on Mega Millions tickets this week at nearby vendors on the same street, but not at this store. “When I heard that the (winning) ticket was sold on Liberty Road, I thought ‘It could be me,’” he said. “But once I found out which store, I didn’t have another thought.” Edem, a native of Nigeria, said he would help his family and build a hospital in the United States if he had won the jackpot. Cynthia Bond and her daughter Taylor were very upset when they heard the winning ticket had been sold at the 7-Eleven where they bought coffee Saturday afternoon. Cynthia Bond said she had spent $40 on Mega Millions tickets, but not at that store. “We have a large family, and if we would’ve won, I’d buy some land and build houses for my relatives,” Cynthia Bond said. Maryland does not require lottery winners to be publicly identified; the Mega Millions winner can claim the prize anonymously. In January, a Pennsylvania couple who won a $128 million Powerball prize with a ticket they bought in Maryland were not identified; they posed for a picture hiding behind a big, fake check. Lottery officials say Maryland’s last Mega Millions winner was a Baltimore County woman who won $24 million in 2008. The year before, Bunky Bartlett of Dundalk split a $330 million jackpot with three other winners in other states. The 7-Eleven is located on a long stretch of a main thoroughfare running through Baltimore County and is among fast-food restaurants, small businesses and tire stores. It will receive a $100,000 bonus for selling a winning ticket.

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