1 ticket meets the Mega Millions prize

Maine hit its first Mega Millions jackpot — and someone beat the misfortune of Friday the 13th — when a ticket purchased in the state matched the winning numbers for the lottery’s estimated $1.35 billion grand prize.

The lucky number combination drawn on Friday night was: 30, 43, 45, 46, 61 and golden Mega Ball 14.

The winning ticket was sold at Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, Maine, according to the Maine State Lottery. The city in southern Maine with over 6,500 inhabitants borders on New Hampshire.

“Our small town gas station was pretty busy this morning, I can tell you that,” said owner Fred Cotreau. The first thing he did was check to see if he had bought the winning ticket, which he hadn’t.

“Hopefully one of the residents and one of the regular customers is the winner,” Cotreau said. “It’s exciting to have sold it, but it’s even more exciting to be a single winner.”

The winner, whose name is not yet known, overcame the staggering odds of 1 in 302.6 million, resulting in three months of no-jackpot draws.

“Congratulations to the Maine State Lottery on just winning their first-ever Mega Millions jackpot,” said Pat McDonald, executive director of the Mega Millions syndicate, in a statement Saturday.

The jackpot was the second largest in Mega Millions history and the fourth time the game had had a billion dollar win. The largest Mega Millions jackpot of October 2018 was $1.53 billion claimed by a single ticket holder in South Carolina.

Friday’s successful drawing also marked the seventh time there has been a grand prize winner on Friday the 13th, a date superstitiously considered unlucky.

To claim the full $1.35 billion, the winner would have to take the money in the form of an annuity with annual payments over 29 years. Most jackpot recipients prefer the discounted but quicker cash option, which was estimated at $724.6 million for Friday night’s drawing.

Tuesday’s next grand prize drawing will drop to an estimated $20 million and a $10.7 million cash option.

As of Friday night, there have been 25 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.

On Friday there were more than 7 million winning tickets in nine prize tiers.

Beyond the Maine jackpot, 14 tickets matched five white balls to win the $1 million second-tier prize. Four were sold in New York, two in California and one each in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas, Mega Millions said.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states plus Washington, DC and the US Virgin Islands.

Information for this article was contributed by Lisa Rathke of The Associated Press.

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