Culture

The Maryland McMillionaire Mystery

Currently playing out in Maryland is the strange-and-getting-stranger story of Marlinde Wilson, who claims to have one of the three winning Mega Millions tickets from last week’s drawing, worth 218 million dollars before taxes. According to co-workers at the McDonald’s where she’s employed the ticket was part of a group purchase and the money should be divided equally. Marlinde says the winner was a private purchase and the money is all hers, but curiously has not yet submitted the ticket to lottery officials, causing some to doubt her story.

Does she really have the ticket? Is she crazy-rich, or just plain crazy?

On the “crazy” side of the ledger we have the fact that she is in Maryland, not Turks and Caicos. (Maybe it’s just me, but if I won 200 mil I’d be lying on the beach on Turks and Caicos, surrounded by tanned lovelies fanning me with palm fronds while having cat fights over who gets to refill my frozen margarita, even when it’s full.)

Also pointing to crazy is this – she has seven kids, works at McDonald’s, and has not collected the money yet. Let me repeat that one: she has seven kids, works at McDonalds, and has not . . .

On the crazy-rich side we have evidence that sniffing Mickey D’s french fries for prolonged periods of time has negative effects on the brain of Lottery winners. Across the pond, McDonald’s employee Luke Pittard won over one million pounds (more than two million US dollars) and… still works at his job as a burger boy.

Or maybe she’s crazy like a fox and plans to turn a contrived publicity stunt into cash. Maybe she’s aiming for a reality show, like the Balloon Boy clan.  Or maybe she plans on suing someone (For what? Anything. These are the United States of Litigation, she can sue for invasion of the privacy she willfully gave up, lost wages for time missed while conning the media, or, hot McCoffee that was, well, hot. Lawyers will be lining up to represent her.)

At the very least, she’ll be invited on the Today Show, Good Morning America and the View. And for certain Homo sapiens circa 2012, vacuous instant fame is almost as good as winning the lottery.

What do you think – did she really win the lottery or is she the guy in Paraguay with the fake Golden Ticket?