$1.35 billion lottery winner in Maine comes forward to collect prize money
MAINE (WABI/Gray News) – The winner of a $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot — the fourth largest in U.S. history — has come forward to collect the prize, according to the Maine Lottery Association.
The winner has chosen to remain anonymous.
A representative for the winner said they are thoughtfully considering the best uses of this life-changing prize.
According to the Maine Lottery Association, the winner chose the cash option of a one-time, lump sum payment of $723,564,144 before taxes.
The winning ticket was purchased for the drawing Jan. 13 at the Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, Maine. The store received a $50,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
“There’s huge buzz around the store,” owner Fred Cotreau said before the ticket was claimed. Cotreau had said he hoped the winner would be a local resident.
“We congratulate the winner of the Mega Millions jackpot and wish them all the best as they consider how to best use their recent winnings,” Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations Deputy Director Michael Boardman said.
The winner overcame steep odds of 1 in 302.6 million - on Friday the 13th, no less.
It was the first Maine winner for the Mega Millions jackpot, which is played in 45 states as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Copyright 2023 WABI via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The Associate Press contributed to this report.