After making a contentious choice, my wife and I won the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot only received $157.8 million

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A share of a Mega Millions jackpot was split between Merle and Patricia Butler of Red Bud, Illinois, which is roughly 38 miles south of St. Louis, Missouri, in March 2012.

According to Lottery Critic, the $656 million jackpot remains the second-largest Mega Millions prize money in American history.

The $218.7 million jackpot on their winning portion of the ticket, which was divided between two additional winners in Maryland and Kansas, was also the biggest reward ever awarded by the Illinois Lottery at that time.

Merle and Patricia were able to conceal their win from the small community for around 3 weeks before showing up at Red Bud Village Hall to claim their money, according to Mega Millions.

Yet, lottery lawyers and specialists continue to be divided over their choice to accept the lump sum payout rather than a series of annual annuity payments.

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