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Winner Of Record US Lottery Prize Claims Cash

One of three winners of the biggest lottery jackpot in history - the \$656m Mega Millions prize in the US - has come forward to claim their share of the cash.

Lottery officials have said the lucky ticketholder from Kansas, who has chosen to remain anonymous, made themselves known on Friday.

Opting for a lower cash prize rather than a higher pre-tax amount of \$218.6m (£137.7m) paid out over 26 years, the winner will pocket \$110.5m (£69.6m) after taxes and fees.

Cara Sloan-Ramos, from the Kansas Lottery said: "They checked their ticket on Monday and realised that, 'holy cow, we think we have the winning ticket'.

"Then the winner checked it over and over and over, just to make sure, and then they contacted us."

The only detail that has been released is that the ticket was purchased at a Casey's General Store on Main Street in Ottawa. The shop is to be awarded \$10,000 (£6,300).

Lottery officials have said that three winning tickets were bought - one in Kansas, one in Illinois and one in Maryland - but neither of the other winners have been confirmed.

A row has broken out in Maryland after a member of staff at a McDonald's in Baltimore claimed to have bought a winning ticket outside of a syndicate with 14 colleagues.

Mirlande Wilson, a 37-year-old woman of Haitian descent, has said she has no plans to share the jackpot - and also claims to have hidden the winning ticket.

However, lottery officials in the state have said that so far no one has presented a valid winning ticket to their offices.

The Mega Millions jackpot became the largest in history on March 30 when it reached \$656m (£409m).

The lottery is one of the biggest multi-state games in America and is played in 42 states, plus Washington, DC and the US Virgin Islands.

The odds of winning were one in about 176 million, according to the official Mega Millions website.