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Johnston Siblings Split $1 Million Mega Millions® Prize

Trips To Iowa State Fair Delayed Their Prize Claim For A Couple Weeks

Stephen, Marsha and Craig Bevis   Hear their story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - They've known for a couple weeks now that they'd won big, but three Johnston siblings said they had a good reason for a delay in claiming their $1 million Mega Millions prize: One of them had to go to the Iowa State Fair.

"I had bought Fair tickets ahead of time, and I didn't want them to go to waste," Stephen Bevis said matter-of-factly as the three claimed their prize on Monday. His younger brother and sister, Marsha and Craig Bevis, just laughed and said the delay was fine with them - they knew the lottery prize money would be waiting for them when they did decide to claim it.

Stephen Bevis at 61 is the eldest of the three and describes himself as the ringleader. He purchased their $1 million-winning ticket at Dahl's, 4343 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines, while out running errands. The siblings, who said they've pooled their money to buy lotto tickets together for a couple years, matched the first five numbers but missed the Mega Ball to win a $1 million prize in the Aug. 1 Mega Millions drawing.

Stephen said he set the winning ticket aside at their Johnston home after purchasing it and none of them checked it for a couple days. It was actually their 93-year-old father, Gerald, who finally checked the winning lottery numbers in the newspaper.

"I was sitting on the couch and he said, 'You might want to look at this,'" Stephen recalled. "It just really didn't sink in. I said, 'Oh, come on. We're not that lucky.'"

The winning numbers in the Aug. 1 Mega Millions drawing were: 13-29-34-37-72 and Mega Ball 6. The Megaplier® number was 5. No one won the game's jackpot that night and the big prize has continued to climb since then, reaching an estimated $160 million ($95.4 million cash option) for Tuesday's drawing.

All three siblings said they plan to use their winnings to help with retirement. Marsha, 55, and Craig, 59, are already semi-retired, while Stephen works in receiving at the Deere & Co. plant in Ankeny.

Players in Mega Millions choose their first five numbers from a pool of 75, and another number - called the Mega Ball - from a separate pool of 15. The Megaplier option is available for an extra $1 per play.

Powerball® and Mega Millions are both lotto games with jackpot prizes that have climbed into the hundreds of millions of dollars. But while Powerball's drawings are on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Mega Millions drawings are on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Prize: $1 million cash  
Federal Withholding: $250,000  
State Withholding: $50,000  
Net Amount: $700,000  

 

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