While the rest of the country had its eyes on a $700,000,000-plus jackpot a few days ago, a Palos Heights couple already knew they had big lottery money coming their way.

Congratulations go out to (hopefully our new best friends) Joe and Patricia Busking of Palos Heights, Illinois--winners of a $393,000,000 MegaMillions jackpot from a drawing two weeks ago. The Buskings had gone to a local restaurant and purchased a MegaMillions ticket after seeing that the jackpot had risen to $393,000,000.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Patricia says that she's not a regular lotto player, but will occasionally purchase a ticket "just when it gets big." Funny, but that's the way my wife and I play, too. However, our biggest win has been two free tickets, not a quarter billion dollars.

From UPI:

She plunked down $5 for a quick pick at Nick's BBQ restaurant after buying some steak sandwiches. After Joe Busking heard on the radio the winning ticket had been sold in their town, Patricia rushed to the newspaper and checked her numbers. All six matched: 23, 33, 53, 56, 58, and 06.

Rather than take the annual 30-year payout, Busking opted to take the cash in a lump sum. Her share of the pot after taxes is $246 million, Illinois lotto officials estimated.

It was the fifth-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever. The lottery had rolled over 30 times without a winner before Busking took home the prize. Nick Andricopulos, the owner of the restaurant that sold the winning ticket, will also receive a $500,000 prize.

That's a nice pile of cash for all concerned, especially the restaurant's owner. The toughest part, it seems, was remaining tight-lipped about their win:

Unlike the Massachusetts woman who came forward almost immediately to claim the record $758.7 million Powerball jackpot the same week, Busking waited two weeks to come forward with the winning ticket. During that time, she said she consulted family and financial advisers about how best to proceed. She said she plans to share the money with family and friends and donate a portion to unnamed charities.


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