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Official: Mega Millions winner comes forward

A printout of the winning numbers at the

A printout of the winning numbers at the King Kullen in Middle Island, where a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket was sold. (Dec. 28, 2011) Credit: James Carbone

The winner of the largest lottery jackpot in Long Island history, $208 million, has come forward with the ticket purchased at King Kullen, said a spokesman for the supermarket chain.

For now, however, the identity of the Mega Millions ticket holder remains a mystery.

King Kullen spokesman Lloyd Singer said he spoke with New York State lottery officials Tuesday and confirmed the ticket presented has been validated.

“When we are ready to make an announcement, we will send out the regular media advisory with a date and time for when a winner will be presented,” said Christy Calicchia, a New York Lottery spokeswoman, who neither confirmed nor denied that a winner had come forward.

The winning ticket for the Dec. 27 drawing was bought at the King Kullen supermarket in Middle Island. The ticket had the Mega numbers 23, 32, 33, 39, 43 and a Mega Ball of 8.

King Kullen employees are "looking forward to finally learning the identity of the lucky Mega winner," Tony Femminella, vice president of store operations, said in a statement.

Since the drawing, store employees, patrons and wannabe-lottery winners on Long Island have been agog over who had won.

A lottery spokeswoman last month said the jackpot's lump-sum cash option -- a one-time payment instead of an annuity paid over 26 years -- is worth $153.3 million before taxes.

The jackpot exceeded the previous largest one on Long Island by about $6.1 million.

Twenty Melville Costco employees who won $201.9 million claimed their Power Ball prize on June 1, 2011. And Richard and Mary Morrison, formerly of Miller Place, claimed a $165 million Mega Millions prize on Jan. 4, 2010. They now live in Belle Terre.

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