Winning ticket for $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot sold in Maine … – USA TODAY

Someone has finally won the Mega Millions jackpot – on a Friday the 13th, no less.
A lucky ticket sold in Maine matched Friday night’s winning numbers to score the lottery game’s estimated $1.35 billion grand prize.
Friday’s prize is the second-biggest jackpot that Mega Millions has ever seen and fourth-largest across U.S. lottery history. The win also marks the first time that a Mega Millions jackpot has ever been won in Maine, according to Mega Millions
After no jackpot winner for 25 consecutive drawings, Mega Millions’ top prize has climbed higher and higher in recent months. 
Friday’s winner, whose name is not yet known, overcame the extremely slim odds of taking home the Mega Millions jackpot – which stand at about 1 in 302.6 million.
Why have lottery prizes grown so large? Another record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot is up for grabs Friday. Here’s why. 
Graphics: How much do you win after taxes on Mega Millions? The $1.35 billion jackpot shrinks significantly  
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 reduced but quicker cash option, which for Friday night’s drawing was an estimated $724.6 million.
Superstitious lottery players may also note that Friday’s drawing marked the seventh time there was a Mega Millions jackpot winner on a Friday the 13th.
The winning numbers for Friday night’s drawing were 30-43-45-46-61, Mega Ball: 14 and Megaplier was 2X.
One lucky ticket sold in Maine matched all six numbers to win the estimated $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot Friday night, Mega Millions said.
The winner’s name is currently unknown. If the winner chooses to come forward, Tuesday would be the earliest they would be able to do so, Michael Boardman, deputy director of the Maine State Lottery, confirmed to USA TODAY. Tuesday is the next day the state’s lottery office will be open.
But Boardman also noted that the winner might choose to stay anonymous – adding that the state lottery encourages the winner to seek financial advice.
What should I do if I win the lottery? Here’s why experts say you should keep your winning ticket quiet and seek trusted, financial advice. 
The ticket was sold at Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, Maine, the Maine State Lottery said. The store will receive a $50,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, Boardman said. 
In addition to a jackpot winner, there were more than 7 million winning tickets sold across the lottery game’s other prize tiers. Nationwide, 14 tickets matched all five white balls to win $1 million each, Mega Millions said.
Four of the winning Match-5 tickets were sold in New York and two were sold in California. The rest came from Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Mega Millions’ estimated $1.35 billion jackpot was won on Friday the 13th, which might catch the eye of some superstitious lottery players.
Friday’s prize is the seventh Mega Millions jackpot that has been won on a Friday the 13th over the years, according to the lottery game.
Friday also marked seven years after three tickets split the then-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. On Jan. 13, 2016 (unfortunately a Wednesday, not a Friday), three winners cashed in on the $1.586 billion Powerball prize.
A giant jackpot attracts a lot of players – but it’s important to note that odds of taking home a Mega Millions top prize are extremely slim. Experts stress that people entering the lottery shouldn’t buy more tickets than they can afford.
“Imagine you write the letters to ‘Mega Millions’ on individual pieces of paper, mix them up, and let your cat randomly select letters. Your cat is five times more likely to correctly spell ‘Mega Millions’ than you are to win,” Matthew Kovach, an assistant professor of economics at Virginia Tech, told USA TODAY this week.
What are my chances of winning the lottery? Here’s what you need to know.  
Kovach added that you are also more likely to be struck by lightning twice in your lifetime than win the lottery.
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Contributing: The Associated Press. Jennifer Sangalang, Florida Today.

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