Mega-Awww: Retired Couple Revealed As Mystery Mega Millions Winners

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 18, 2012 4:20PM

Meet Merle and Patricia Butler, the Illinois winners of last month's record-setting $656 million Mega Millions jackpot.

The Illinois Lottery introduced the Butlers in their hometown of Red Bud, Ill. this morning. Merle Butler purchased $3 worth of tickets at a Moto Mart in Red Bud, using the Quick Pick method, where numbers are automatically generated on a computer. He told the press that when he realized he and his wife had won, Patricia Butler laughed for about four hours.

"I thought, 'I might win something," Merle Butler said at the news conference. "The further I went, the more they matched. After I looked at it for a couple minutes, I turned to my wife and said, 'We won.'"

Only a handful of people were aware the Butlers—who are retirees—had won $216 million. Merle Butler said winning the Mega Millions had been like a full-time job as he and his wife have consulted with financial advisers about their newfound wealth.

The Butlers are the only winners of the record jackpot to come forward, as required by state law. The other Mega Million lottery winners were from Kansas and Maryland and chose to remain anonymous.