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$1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot winner claims prize

The Mega Millions jackpot winner waited less than six weeks to come forward to claim the $1.35 billion prize.

WASHINGTON — The sole winner of the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot has come forward to accept their winnings, the Maine State Lottery announced on Wednesday. 

While the winner had up to a year to claim their massive prize from the Jan. 13 drawing, they waited less than six weeks to come forward.

The winning ticket was purchased at the Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, Maine, a town of less than 6,500 people in the southwestern corner of the state. The store received a $50,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Who won the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot? 

We may never know the person's identity. That's because they accepted the winnings through the limited liability company LaKoma Island Investments, LLC, according to a release from the Maine State Lottery.

The $1.35 billion jackpot was the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot and fourth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. There had been 25 consecutive drawings without a jackpot winner before the single ticket purchased in Maine correctly matched all the numbers. 

The winner chose the cash option, a one-time lump-sum payment of $723,564,144 before taxes, the Maine State Lottery release stated. Winners almost always take the cash option, but they do have a choice to instead get the full amount in annual payments over 29 years. 

“The winner is thoughtfully considering the best uses of the life-changing prize,"  a representative for the winner said in the release.

Who won the largest jackpot in U.S. history? 

Last week, the winner of November's record-high $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot was revealed in California. State lottery officials announced that a man named Edwin Castro was the winner. Castro declined to appear but sent a statement saying he is shocked and ecstatic, and glad that the lottery helps fund education.  


What are the largest lottery jackpots ever won? 

1. $2.04 billion, Powerball, Nov. 8, 2022 (one ticket, from California) 

2. $1.586 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 (three tickets, from California, Florida, Tennessee)

3. $1.537 billion, Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018 (one ticket, from South Carolina)

4. $1.35 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 13, 2023 (one ticket, from Maine) 

5. $1.337 billion, Mega Millions, July 29, 2022 (one ticket, from Illinois)

6. $1.05 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 22, 2021 (one ticket, from Michigan)

7. $768.4 million, Powerball, March 27, 2019 (one ticket, from Wisconsin)

8. $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017 (one ticket, from Massachusetts)

9. $731.1 million, Powerball, Jan. 20, 2021 (one ticket, from Maryland)

10. $699.8 million, Powerball, Oct. 4, 2021 (one ticket, from California)

News Center Maine's Griffin Stockford contributed to this report. 

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