MEGA MILLIONS: Public school workers hold winning Mega Millions ticket

Posted at 9:30 AM, Apr 10, 2012

(CNN) - Three public school employees who have been working multiple jobs are winners in the historic Mega Millions lottery. And because they are remaining anonymous, and plan to keep working, their students and co-workers may never know.

"If it can't be you, these are precisely the people that you would want to see win the lottery," said Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery.

The three will get $35 million each after taxes, because each chose to take the lump sum rather than an annual payment.

Three winning tickets were sold nationally in the recent drawing, which had a record $656 million pre-tax payout. One ticket was sold in Kansas, another in Illinois and the third in Maryland.

The Kansas winner came forward last week, but chose to remain anonymous. In Illinois, no winner has come forward, but the ticket holder has a year to do so. The state does not allow winners to remain anonymous.

The winners in Maryland are a woman in her 20s, a man in his 40s, and a woman in her 50s, Martino said.

They are an elementary school teacher, a special education teacher, and an administrative worker.

All were "modest" and "humbled" by the win, Martino said.

One wants to take a backpacking trip through Europe; another wants to pay for his daughters' college educations and buy his sister a house; the third wants to tour Italy's wine country, Martino said. All plan to invest money and purchase new homes as well.

One of the winners holds two full-time jobs, Martino said. One of the teachers holds two other jobs.

In conversations with lottery officials, the teachers indicated no desire to retire, he said. "They said, 'I can't give up my kids,'" he said. 

This was the first time the three had bought lottery tickets together. Each contributed $20 for a total of 60 tickets.

One played the lottery frequently; another played just occasionally; the third only played on rare occasions when the jackpot got particularly high, Martino said.

When they came to the lottery office, a financial adviser was with them -- and one of the winners carried the ticket in an envelope in her purse, Martino said.

News reports about another possible winner were not accurate, Martino said.

CNN's Chandler Friedman contributed to this report.