The winner of the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot comes forward

PORTLAND, Maine — The winner of a $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot — the fourth-largest in U.S. history — has come forward to collect the prize, officials said Wednesday. State.

The winner of the January draw was a mystery and remains a mystery.

The Maine State Lottery said the winner chose to remain anonymous and collect the cash option through a limited liability company, LaKoma Island Investments LLC, instead of receiving the full amount payments over time.

“The winner thinks carefully about the best uses for the life-changing prize,” a representative said in a statement.

By choosing the cash option, the winner will receive a one-time lump sum payment of $723,564,144 before taxes, officials said.

The winner had the option of showing up in person with the winning ticket or remaining anonymous through a trust, lottery officials said.

The winning ticket was validated when a representative came to the lottery’s headquarters in Augusta on Friday, and the transfer of the money will take place before the end of the week, said Michael Boardman, deputy director of the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages. & Lottery Operation. .

“I understand why anyone would want to remain anonymous with that kind of money. We wish them well and hope they do good things with it,” he said.

The winning ticket for the Jan. 13 draw was purchased at Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, which is located on a busy highway in a small town near the New Hampshire border.

Owner Fred Cotreau said he had no idea who held the winning ticket.

“We’ll wait and see if it’s a local. Who knows? Sometimes they come to the store and say thank you, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it,” said Cotreau, who shared half of the store’s $50,000 proceeds from the winning ticket sale with his employees.

If the winner had chosen to accept the full amount, there would have been 30 payments over 29 years, Boardman said.

By accepting cash payment, the winner will receive more than $498 million after taxes, Boardman said. Taxes in the amount of $173.6 million will go to the federal government and $51 million to the state, he said. The limited liability company that will receive the money was incorporated out of state, he said.

The winner overcame a strong odds of 1 in 302.6 million, in the Friday the 13th draw, no less. It was Maine’s first winner for the Mega Millions jackpot, which is played in 45 states as well as the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.

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