We Have a Winner: Historic $1.35B Jackpot Goes to 1 Ticket


Someone in the state of Maine matched all five numbers as well as the Mega Ball to win a massive Mega Millions jackpot on Friday night, the multistate lottery consortium said in a news release Saturday.

The winning numbers in the $1.35 billion drawing were 30, 43, 45, 46, 61 and Mega Ball 14.

The name of the winner was not released as of Monday morning.

The winner will have the option of taking the $1.35 billion grand prize — the second-largest jackpot in the history of the game — with annual payments over the course of 29 years, or choosing the cash option payout, according to the New York Post.

In this case, the cash option payout is approximately $724.6 million.

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The winning ticket was sold at Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, Maine, according to the release.

A post on the business’ Facebook page expressed excitement about the news.

“Hey everyone. Lebanon is in the news (for good reasons). Thanks for all the support from our customers. We are anxiously waiting to see if it is someone we see regularly here in town that won a whopping 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS,” owner Fred Cotreau said.

Cotreau told CNN that Lebanon is a small rural town, and if the person who won is a local resident, it will be “really good news for somebody.”

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“It’s almost incomprehensible to wrap your head around how much it would change somebody’s life, regardless of your status and where you are, to get that kind of pay out,” he said.

Cotreau went on to say that prior to Friday, the only winning lottery ticket sold at Hometown Gas & Grill was for $1,000.

The amount of taxes the winner will have to pay after such a win is mind-boggling, whether the person chooses to take the annual payments or a lump sum.

“Nearly a quarter of the prize money is automatically withheld in federal income tax by the IRS, cutting a lump sum by nearly $174 million, to roughly $550 million,” Forbes reported.

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The winner will encounter a federal marginal income tax rate of up to 37 percent.

According to Kiplinger, if the annual payments are chosen, the federal taxes will be roughly $16.65 million for the first three years.

After that, the annual taxes would be approximately $17.82 million per year over the remaining years.

If the winner chooses to take the lump sum payment of $724.6 million, the taxes will be roughly $268.1 million for 2023.

On top of all that, state taxes will have to be paid. If the winner is a resident of Maine, that will be 7.15 percent of the winnings.

While the prospect of winning millions of dollars is enticing, the odds of claiming Friday’s jackpot were about 1 in 302.6 million, according to Fortune.

For those who struggle to resist the appeal of the lottery in spite of the astronomical odds against winning, Mega Millions suggests contacting the National Council on Problem Gambling or Gamblers Anonymous.

CORRECTION, Jan. 16, 2023: The cash option payout for the Mega Millions jackpot is approximately $724.6 million. An earlier version of this article included a different amount.

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