Mega Millions Winner

Somewhere in northeast Houston, there's a winning Mega-Millions ticket that's worth about $82 million, and life is about to change dramatically for someone out there. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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Actually, there were four winning tickets sold in the $330 million 12-state Mega Millions Lotto Friday night. One of them was sold at the Kroger supermarket in the 19,300 block of West Lake Houston Parkway in the Atascocita area near Lake Houston.

The jackpot will be divided four ways. A spokesman for the Texas Lottery says the unknown Houston area buyer chose to take the payout in 26 annual payments. Spreading the $82 million dollar share out over 26 years, someone's annual income will be a little over $3.1 million a year. Tickets whose buyers picked the lump sum will get about $48 million each.

Kroger will get about $800,000 for selling the winning ticket, and a Kroger spokesman says the store manager will throw a party for employees sometime soon.

Meanwhile, the only one of the winners to come out so far lives in Maryland. Elwood Bartlett is an accountant who says he made a bargain with his Wiccan gods . Bartlett says he promised if they'd let him win the lottery he would teach Wiccan philosophy. He won, and he says he'll start teaching Wicca at a new age book store in his hometown sometime soon. Such a deal. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.