- Maine just sold its first winning Mega Millions ticket for a whopping $1.35 billion.
- The ticket was sold at a gas station in the small town of Lebanon.
- “It’s best to live here if you’re retired or looking for a place to get away from society,” said a former resident.
A gas station in Lebanon, Maine, on Friday sold the winning $1.35 billion Mega Millions ticket, the first ever sold in the state and the fourth-biggest jackpot in U.S. history.
Although the winner has not yet been identified, the small town in Lebanon – on the border of Maine and New Hampshire and home to just over 6,400 residents, according to the 2020 census – finds itself in an unknown spotlight.
According to Niche, a website that offers research on potential places to live and work, Lebanon is largely a mixture of suburban and rural areas, and one former resident said it was best known as a “place for forest introverts”.
“There’s not much around, but it’s a quiet little town in Maine,” they wrote on the site. “It’s best to live here if you’re retired or looking for a place to get away from society”
Beyond the city itself, Lebanon’s local Hometown Gas & Grill, where the winning ticket was sold, is having a moment.
“Lebanon is in the headlines (for good reason),” the company wrote on its Facebook page on Saturday. “Thank you for all the support from our customers. We’re looking forward to seeing if this is someone we see regularly here in town who’s made $1.3 billion.”
The winning numbers were 30, 43, 45, 46 and 61, and the golden Mega Ball was 14.
Hometown Gas & Grill owner Fred Cotreau told Fox Business he didn’t at first believe his company had actually sold the ticket when he got a call from the Maine State Lottery on Saturday.
“6 o’clock this morning [there was an] Augusta, Maine, ID on my cell phone,” he said. “At first I thought it was a scam. I thought the next thing he was going to ask me for a gift card.”
A gas station employee also expressed disbelief to Fox Business: “I was kind of like, ‘Is that real?'”
The jackpot has reached $1.35 billion after swelling since the last win in November 2022, when a Californian landed the Powerball jackpot of $2.04 billion.
The Friday Mega Millions ticket winnings represent more than half of the $2.2 billion collective total prize money paid out over the Maine lottery’s 40-year history. Previously, in-state winnings ranged from 50 cents to $9.1 million, according to the Maine Lottery website.
A total of 1,250 retailers sell lottery products in the state, and each business receives commissions and bonuses, according to the Maine Lottery.
Cotreau told Fox Business he didn’t know if his company would receive any money for the sale of the winning ticket, but regardless, he said he “would just like the winner to be generous with the cashier who sold him the ticket.