A Maine lottery ticket purchaser wins the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

The Mega Millions jackpot was won by a single ticket purchaser in the United States.

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The identity of the winner was not yet publicly known, but the jackpot’s organisers said on Saturday that the winning ticket was sold in the northeastern state of Maine. 

The winning ticket, which cost $2, was bought at Hometown Gas & Grill convenience store in the town of Lebanon. 

"Congratulations to the Maine State Lottery, which has just won its first-ever Mega Millions jackpot," Ohio Lottery director Pat McDonald, the Mega Millions Consortium's lead director, said in a statement. "It's the fourth billion-dollar jackpot in Mega Millions history."

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The winning six-number combination drawn late Friday night was: 30, 43, 45, 46, 61, and gold Mega Ball 14. The winner overcame severe odds of 1 in 302.6 million, which resulted in three months of lotteries with no prize claim.

"There's quite a buzz at our small-town gas station this morning, I'll tell you that," said Fred Cotreau, proprietor of Hometown Gas & Grill. He began by checking to see if he had purchased the winning ticket, which he had not.

"Hopefully one of the residents and one of the regular customers is the winner," Cotreau went on to say. "It's exciting to have sold it but it's just more exciting for a single winner and I'm just really hoping it's somebody here in town." To receive the whole $1.35 billion, the winner would have to take the money in the form of an annuity with monthly installments spread out over 29 years.

Most jackpot recipients prefer the reduced but quicker cash option, which for Friday night’s drawing was an estimated $724.6m. The jackpot had been rolling since it was last won on October 14, when a $502m prize was shared by winning tickets in California and Florida.

It is the second-largest in the game's 20-year history, trailing only the $1.537 billion won in South Carolina in October 2018. Aside from the jackpot winner, 14 tickets matched all five numbers to win the game's second-tier prize of $1 million. New York had four, California had two, and Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas each had one.

Half of the revenues from each Mega Millions ticket sold remain in the state where the ticket was purchased, where the money supports lottery beneficiaries such as education or public employee pensions, as well as retailer commissions. Cotreau, the proprietor of Hometown Gas & Grill, hopes to profit handsomely from the ticket. "I don't know yet, but I'm gonna call my lottery agent first thing Monday morning to find out."  

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