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Mega Millions lottery winner in Illinois steps forward

CHICAGO -- The third winner of the record $656 million Mega Millions lottery prize has come forward and will be presented with a check at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Illinois lottery officials said on Monday.

"Respecting the privacy of the winner, we cannot release their name or personal information until then," lottery officials said.

The drawing for the record-breaking jackpot was March 30. It is worth $158 million before taxes if taken in a lump sum, or $218.6 million if taken in 26 annual payments.

The ticket was sold at a gas station in southern Illinois town of Red Bud, southeast of St. Louis, Missouri. The winner will be presented with a check at a news conference in Red Bud.

The holders of the two other tickets have already come forward, though all opted to remain anonymous. Three friends who work in Maryland's public school system claimed their prize, and a winner in Kansas revealed no details about themselves. Both chose the lump sum.

Under Illinois lottery rules, winners are required to reveal their identities and appear at a news conference.

The Mega Millions lottery is played in 42 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

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