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Educators win Mega Millions, decide to keep teaching


Each of the three will receive a lump sum payment of $35 million after taxes.

In today’s toxic political climate, teachers have taken more than their fair share of criticism for the state of U.S. public education. Turn on the TV or open a newspaper, and you’re likely to hear more rhetoric about how teachers don’t care, or that teaching is an easy job.

But in an example of what it really means to be a teacher—to have a passion for learning and a dedication to inspiring students—two public school teachers and a school administrator are sharing the spoils of last month’s record Mega Millions jackpot, planning trips to Europe, new homes, and a daughter’s college education … all while continuing to plan lessons and grade homework.

According to news outlets and Maryland Lottery officials, these self-declared “Three Amigos” plan to keep working. What’s even more humbling, they’ve chosen to remain anonymous, so their students and peers might never know.

In conversations with lottery officials, the teachers indicated no desire to retire, said said Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery. “They said, ‘I can’t give up my kids,'” Martino said.

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

The Maryland winners claimed their proceeds April 9 and chose to remain anonymous, but the lottery agency shared some details in a news conference, including the fact that each of the three works other jobs outside school to make ends meet.

“If it can’t be you, these people are precisely the people you would want to see win,” Martino said.

The winning Maryland ticket is one of three nationally that split the $656 million jackpot, the biggest in Mega Millions history. The other winning tickets in the March 30 drawing were bought in Kansas and Illinois. Kansas’ winner claimed a share of the jackpot April 6 but also decided to remain anonymous. Nobody has come forward in Illinois as of press time.

Martino said the winning Maryland ticket came from a 7-Eleven store in Milford Mill, outside Baltimore.

Each of the three educators will receive a lump sum payment of $35 million after taxes.

The two women and one man work in public education in the state. Officials did not disclose where, and said they knew each other from work but were not all at the same school.

One woman is in her 20s, one is in her 50s, and the man is in his 40s. One winner is a special-education teacher, one is an elementary school teacher, and the third is a school administrator.

Their plans include backpacking in Europe, a tour of Italy’s wine country, and paying for a daughter’s college education.

All three also planned to buy new homes and invest, officials said.

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