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Maryland Mega Millions Winners Decide To Keep Working In Education For 'The Kids'

Posted: 04/10/2012 2:34 pm Updated: 04/10/2012 2:34 pm

Maryland Mega Millions

As the Mega Millions jackpot climbed to a record $656 million last month, the air was abuzz with the question: "What would you do if you won the big bucks?"

In a Patch.com poll, 71 percent of the respondents said that they would definitely leave their jobs.

With millions in your pocket, it seems like a given that choosing a life of languid luxury would beat out the drudgery of work -- right?

For the three Maryland public school workers who won a $218.6 million share of the record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot, their jobs as educators are worth much more than the millions they won.

According to the Atlantic Wire, the three winners (an elementary school teacher, a special education teacher and an administrative worker) who came forward Thursday to claim their prize said they planned to keep working in education because they "can't give up on the kids".

"If it can't be you, these are precisely the people that you would want to see win the lottery," director of the Maryland Lottery, Stephen Martino, told CNN. He added that the winners had all been "modest" and "humbled" when they stepped forward to claim their prize.

And, in sharp contrast to the McDonald's worker who'd been claiming to have won the Maryland jackpot, these winners seem to have been nice and civil about sharing the prize. According to CBS's Baltimore affiliate, one of the winners had the tickets spread out in front of her the night of the drawing. She then called the other two and told them that they'd won.

The three winners chose to take the cash option of $158 million and will each take home just under $35 million after taxes.

Despite their newfound wealth, the trio -- who have chosen to remain anonymous and are calling themselves "The Three Amigos" -- will be returning to work this week, out of "a strong commitment to their students," The Huffington Post reports.

"It’s gratifying to know that these individuals, who have given so much to the public through the years, have had this wonderful luck," Martino told MSNBC.

However, the dedication of the Three Amigos is not as rare as one might think.

Lottery.com reports that 85 percent of lottery winners stay in the workplace.

Like the Three Amigos, NBC reported that 12 pizzeria workers in Marin County, Calif., who won more than $300,000 in the recent Mega Millions lottery, have shunned the high life and are back at work making pizza pies.

Earlier this year, 33-year-old lottery winner Marcia Adams made headlines when she kept her job as a corporate accountant after clinching $72 million.

“I love what I do,” she told the Atlantic Journal-Constitution. “I have a purpose.

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Filed by Dominique Mosbergen  |