A Mega Millions ticket purchased at the Hometown Gas & Grill of Lebanon hit the $1.35 billion jackpot. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

LEBANON — A Mega Millions ticket purchased in this York County town matched the winning numbers for Friday night’s estimated $1.35 billion grand prize.

The ticket was sold at the Hometown Gas & Grill of Lebanon, store owner Fred Cotreau confirmed.

It is the first winning Mega Millions lottery ticket sold in Maine and the fourth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The lucky combination of numbers drawn late Friday night were: 30, 43, 45, 46, 61, and gold Mega Ball 14.

The winner, whose identity is not yet known, overcame odds of 1 in 302.6 million – on Friday the 13th, no less. The jackpot grew to $1.35 billion after three months of drawings without a winner.

Gregg Mineo, director of the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery, said the Maine Lottery does not know who won the huge jackpot.

That will not be known until the winner comes forward with the winning ticket and claims the prize, Mineo said. The winner, who has a year to claim the prize, could remain anonymous if represented by a trust, he said.


News of the winning ticket quickly spread around Lebanon on Saturday morning.

The owner of Hometown Gas & Grill said the town was “buzzing” with excitement. When he received a call from the Maine Lottery at 6 a.m. Saturday telling him his store had sold the winning ticket, Cotreau said, he thought at first it might be a scam.

“The first thing I did was check my numbers,” he said. Then he shaved and rushed to his store. “The phone started ringing. The store is busy. It’s all abuzz. We’re trying to figure out who is the winner. We’re hoping it’s a regular customer or somebody who lives in the area.”

Store owner Fred Cotreau greets customers Saturday mornings. “We are anxiously awaiting the winner to be revealed,” he said. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

The jackpot was the second-largest in Mega Millions history and the fourth time the game has had a billion-dollar win. The largest Mega Millions jackpot in October 2018 was $1.53 billion claimed by a single ticket holder in South Carolina. Two Powerball jackpots have been larger, with one eclipsing $2 billion.

Hometown Gas & Grill, a store that doubles as the local restaurant, is a popular spot in Lebanon. “I like to call it ‘The Lebanon Social Club,'” Cotreau said. “The name says it all. We try to be a good part of the community.”

Cotreau, who has owned the store for four years, was being interviewed by CNN via Zoom when a reporter stopped by Saturday morning. He said he was as surprised as anyone to learn of the winning ticket.


“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it,” he said. “What we’re really anxious to find out is if it was a local. It’s always nice if it’s someone local. We’re a small community, so it would be great.” His store will receive $50,000 for selling the ticket.

Patrons who stopped by the store Saturday speculated on who might have won and what they would do with the money as they filtered in and out of the store.

“It’s exciting to see,” said April Blanchette, 43, who was eating breakfast with her son, Brayden, in the store’s small café area. “Hopefully it is a Mainer and not just somebody passing through.” Blanchette said she and her family buy lottery tickets at the store all the time, but unfortunately the ticket she bought Friday wasn’t the winner.

“Everybody in here is talking about it, and all the local Lebanon Facebook groups have the chatter going for sure,” Blanchette said.

Gary and Shelley Brunet, who live in nearby Berwick, were scrolling through their phones as they waited for their breakfast. The pair said the spot is popular with locals – they eat breakfast there every Saturday morning – but it also gets a good amount of traffic from people passing through. “I hope whoever does win gives back to the community, which would be nice,” said Shelley, 49.

Rodney Sanborn of Lebanon wondered if the ticket his father purchased but then lost might be the winning ticket. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Rodney Sanborn worried the ticket he bought for his father Friday, but which his father then lost, could be the winning ticket. “We have no idea what’s going on,” said Sanborn, 56, as he paced around the store. “That’s why I’m here. Nobody has claimed it, and we’re both sick to our stomachs.”


Sanborn said he was hoping the store might know what time the winning ticket was sold and could then use surveillance footage to see who was purchasing a ticket at that time. “He’s been stressed,” Sanborn said of his father. “I’ve been stressed. He’s been going through his truck. He’s gone through his pants. He’s gone through everything.”

An hour later Sanborn reappeared in the store wanting to inform staff he had found his father’s ticket – it wasn’t the winner – but in some ways, he was also relieved. “My stomach just stopped flipping,” he said.

Brian Comeau, who works for a dumpster company in Lebanon, said he frequently stops to get gas at the store on his way to work. He said he hopes the winner is one of the local young people he frequently sees in the mornings. “I’m kind of hoping it’s one of the kids,” said Comeau, 53. “There are a lot of people in this town who are just starting businesses and stuff like that, so it would be phenomenal if it was one of them.”

Comeau said his business partner, who had bought tickets, called him after hearing someone had won. “He was like, ‘Dude, if I win I’m giving everybody here in town 50 grand,’” Comeau said. “I said ‘Dude, I hope you win!’”

Brian Comeau of Rochester, N.H., who works in Lebanon and visits the store daily, said he hopes a local won. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Crystal Adams of Lebanon said whoever won the jackpot could probably use the money.

“Our community is pretty tight-knit,” Adams said. “We’re a small town. I am so happy for the person who won. I’ll probably know them,” Adams said. She suspects that the person who won “is in need. We’re not a rich community. We’re country.”


Karen Downes, a cashier at the store, believes the ticket was sold Friday, though she wasn’t sure at what time. She was one of three cashiers who worked that day, and she said a lot of tickets were sold.

Downes said the store was busy early Saturday with people coming to the register and asking for their tickets to be checked. “I’m very happy for (the winner),” Downes said. “I just hope it was a local. That would be nice.”

To claim the full $1.35 billion, the winner would need to take the money in an annuity with annual payments over 29 years. Most jackpot recipients prefer the reduced but quicker cash option, which for Friday night’s drawing was an estimated $725 million.

The next grand prize drawing on Tuesday will drop to an estimated $20 million and a cash option of $10.7 million.

Fred Cotreau, owner of Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Until Friday night, there had been 25 straight drawings without a jackpot winner.

The prize money is generated by ticket sales. On Friday alone, $1 million worth of tickets were purchased in Maine, Mineo said.

There were more than 7 million winning tickets across nine prize tiers Friday. Beyond Maine’s jackpot, 14 tickets matched five white balls to claim the 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, Mega Millions said.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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