CREATED Apr. 18, 2012
RED BUD, Illinois--The third and final winner of last month's record $656 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot came forward Wednesday.
The lucky couple is from the tiny farming town of Red Bud, Illinois. They are the only ones out of the three winners to make themselves known publicly.
First there was a card-board cut out. Then a trio, disguised, and hidden behind a huge check claimed their prize.
Now, finally we can put a face with the biggest Mega Millions jackpot in history.
"I took it out and looked at my ticket and first thing I spotted was the mega ball number so I thought, well good, I'm gonna win something," said Mega Millions winner Merle Butler.
The butlers had won $218 million dollars.
Illinois law requires lotto winners to go public so on Wednesday retirees, Merle and Pat Butler told the world about the night of the drawing that changed their lives forever.
"It was two, four, and the further I went the more they matched," Butler said.
Their ticket was a perfect match.
"After I looked at for a couple of minutes I turned to wife who was right there, and i said 'we won,'" Butler said.
The couple is from the tiny town of Red Bud, Illinois. That's where they purchased the winning ticket and that's where they're celebrating.
"This is the most excitement Red Bud's had since we got a new Avon lady," Red Bud resident Carl Zschiegner said.
On Wednesday the community celebrated with a "lotto luncheon." There were hamburgers, hot dogs, and even cookies with the winning numbers in icing.
"I couldn't be happier for anyone else," said Red Bud resident Clarence Guebert.
Clarence Guebert was Merle's first boss when he was just 12 years old.
"He work on my farm and pick up ears of corn that the picker missed for 60-cents an hour," Guebert said. "Then in the winter he milked the cows for me, worked on a dairy farm."
From a dairy farm to the "cash cow" of the biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever.
Under Illinois state lottery rules, winners have to accept their winnings publicly, unlike Maryland and Kansas which allows its winners to remain anonymous.