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Jul 29, 2:48 PM EDT

$536M Mega Millions jackpot claimed by anonymous couple



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- A central Indiana couple who were first-time Mega Millions players won the game's $536 million jackpot this month, but they've chosen to remain anonymous, a family spokeswoman said Friday.

Hoosier Lottery officials were joined at a news conference with the couple's spokeswoman, Lauren Littlefield, who said the winners have two school-aged children and wanted to shield their names in hopes of keeping their lives as normal as possible. Indiana law allows lottery jackpot winners to remain anonymous, with the money being claimed by a limited liability company or legal trust.

"They are completely dedicated to continuing to be who they are," Littlefield said, adding that the family lived north of Indianapolis. "They want their kids to go to the schools they were going to go to anyway. They are very conscious of who are their friends."

Lottery director Sarah Taylor confirmed the couple purchased the sole winning ticket for the July 8 drawing.

Littlefield said the couple bought five tickets with computer-generated numbers at a gas station along Interstate 70 near the small eastern Indiana town of Cambridge City, while heading to a youth sporting event. Littlefield said the husband and wife were first-time Mega Millions players when they bought tickets for a chance to win the third-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history.

The couple is taking the jackpot in a $271 million lump sum, after taxes, Taylor said. The money is being paid to Warren D LLC, which was established last week and lists a downtown Indianapolis law firm as its registered agents, according to Indiana secretary of state office records.

A handful of other big jackpot winners have also remained anonymous in Indiana, including a 2012 Hoosier Lotto prize worth $34.5 million and a 2008 Powerball jackpot of $57.6 million.

Before the July 8 drawing, Mega Millions had gone without a jackpot winner since early March. Tickets are sold in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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