Lottery ticket holder in Maine wins $1.35bn Mega Millions Jackpot | News
Organizers say the only winning ticket was sold in rural Maine.
A single lottery ticket holder in the United States has won $1.35 billion in the Mega Millions jackpot.
The identity of the winner was not yet publicly known, but jackpot organizers said Saturday that the winning ticket was sold in the northeastern state of Maine.
The winning ticket, which cost $2, was purchased at Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon Township.
“Congratulations to the Maine State Lottery, which just won its first Mega Millions jackpot,” Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald, chief executive officer for the Mega Millions Consortium, said in a statement. “It’s the fourth billion-dollar jackpot in Mega Millions history.”
The lucky combination of six numbers drawn late Friday night was: 30, 43, 45, 46, 61 and Mega Ball 14 gold.
The winner overcame huge odds of 1 in 302.6 million, leading to three months of drawings without claiming the top prize.
“There’s a lot of noise at our small town gas station this morning, I’ll tell you that,” said Fred Cotreau, owner of Hometown Gas & Grill.
The first thing he did was to check if he had bought the winning ticket, which he hadn’t.
“Hopefully one of the residents and one of the regulars will be the winner,” Cotreau said. “It’s exciting to have sold it, but it’s more exciting for a single winner and I just hope there’s someone here in town.”
To claim the full $1.35 billion, the winner would have to take the money into an annuity with annual payments over 29 years.
Most jackpot winners prefer the reduced but faster cash option, which for Friday night’s drawing was about $724.6 million.
The jackpot had been running since it was last won on October 14, when a $502 million prize was split by winning tickets in California and Florida.
It’s the second-largest in the game’s 20-year history, topped only by the $1.537 billion earned in South Carolina in October 2018.
In addition to the prize winning ticket, 14 tickets matched all five numbers to win the game’s second tier prize of $1 million.
Four were sold in New York, two in California and one each in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Half of the proceeds from the sale of each Mega Millions ticket stays in the state where the ticket was sold, where the money supports lottery beneficiaries, such as education or public employee pensions and retailer commissions.
Cotreau, the owner of Hometown Gas & Grill, will receive a substantial ticket bonus.
“I don’t know yet, but I’ll call my lottery agent Monday morning to find out.”