A group of McDonald’s employees last month filed a civil lawsuit against a co-worker they say defrauded the Maryland Lottery to avoid having to split the $656 million fortune with them, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Mirlande Wilson, 37, became something of an overnight celebrity when she held a press conference last April claiming to be the winner of the huge jackpot. She told reporters that she hid the ticket at the McDonald’s where she worked, but later said she lost it.
McDonald's workers at the time said they had pooled their money together and put Wilson in charge of purchasing the tickets. To be sure, the complaint says Wilson even told a few co-workers that "we won," Courhousenews.com reported, citing the complaint.
Three public school educators, however, called the “Three Amigos,” later claimed the winning ticket, the report said. The McDonald’s employees claim that Wilson conspired with the "Three Amigos" in order to keep a larger chunk of the winnings.
"Since that time, defendant Wilson has repeatedly admitted that those individuals were mere nominees, on her behalf, and that arrangements had been made to ensure that she would later receive nearly all the lottery proceeds," the complaint states, according to Courthousenews.com.
Wilson, for her part, told the Baltimore Sun that the claims in the lawsuit are false.
One of three winning tickets for the record-breaking $656 million prize was sold at a 7-Eleven in Milford Mill. The others were sold in Kansas and Illinois. Kansas officials said Friday that the holder of the winning ticket had come forward and were planning a news conference.
Carole Everett, the Maryland Lottery spokeswoman, reportedly said the lawsuit "sounds like wishful thinking from a group who had their hopes unfairly raised by Wilson in the first place."