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April 28, 2017

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Mother who 'won' Mega Millions says she 'misplaced' ticket

WASHINGTON -- A mother of seven in Baltimore, Maryland who claimed she was a Mega Millions winner has told a Washington television station she "misplaced" her ticket.

Since last Friday's draw, no one has gone to lottery officials to collect their slice of a world-record $656 million jackpot, to be split three ways after winning tickets were sold in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.

Mirlande Wilson, 37, a Haitian immigrant who works as an assistant manager at a McDonald's fast-food outlet, touched off a media frenzy early this week when she declared herself among the winners.

She also claimed the ticket was hers alone, not among others she had bought in a pool with fellow McDonald's employees — a point her colleagues disputed.

But late Thursday Wilson told Washington's NBC 4 television the winning ticket was nowhere to be found. "I misplaced it," she said, flashing what appeared to be an embarrassed smile.

In a Creole accent, Wilson denied reports she hid it at work ("How am I going to have the ticket and hide it behind the McFlurry machine?") and that her claim was bogus ("I did not make up no story to get no attention").

Winners have until Sept. 28 to come forward, according to Maryland state lottery director Stephen Martino, who said this week "we will wait... until someone walks through our door" with the correct ticket.

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