Nearly one month has passed since a winning $1.35 billion Mega Millions ticket was sold at a Lebanon convenience store and no one has yet come forward to claim the prize, the Maine State Lottery said Wednesday.

But a big winner did emerge Wednesday from the fourth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history when Fred Cotreau, the owner of Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, was presented a $50,000 check for selling the winning ticket.

Fred Cotreau, owner of the Hometown Gas and Grill, is presented with a $50,000 check on Wednesday for selling the winning $1.35 billion Mega Millions ticket last month. Standing next to him on the left is Michael Boardman, deputy director of the Maine State Lottery. Maine State Lottery

Maine State Lottery Deputy Director Michael Boardman handed over the $50,000 selling bonus to Cotreau, who brought several employees with him, during a presentation in Augusta. Boardman said the $50,000 selling bonus is the maximum the lottery can award to stores that sell winning tickets.

Cotreau did not respond to a phone message Wednesday night, but he said in a previous interview with the Press Herald that he plans to share some of the bonus with his staff of 15.

“I’m going to give half to the staff. Their checks will be based on the amount of time they’re employed by the store,” he told the Press Herald.

The owner of the winning ticket can take up to a year to claim the prize. The winner can go to the lottery offices in Augusta to claim their winnings or set up a trust, which would allow them to remain anonymous.


The winning ticket was sold Friday, Jan. 13th, after three months of drawings without a winner built the jackpot to $1.35 billion. The winning numbers were 30-43-45-46-61, Mega Ball 14.

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 quicker cash option, which would amount to an estimated $724 million. In that case, the state would receive more than $51 million in taxes.

The largest lottery jackpot in history occurred last November in California when a Powerball ticket worth $2.04 billion was sold.

The Maine State Lottery was established in 1974 by Maine voters in a statewide referendum. Maine State Lottery proceeds benefit the state’s General Fund.

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