Josh O’Meara, who was working at the Lebanon transfer station Saturday, said he didn’t win the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot. “I wouldn’t be shoveling snow,” O’Meara joked. Bonnie Washuk/Staff Writer

LEBANON — A week after a winning $1.35 billion Mega Millions ticket was purchased at the Hometown Gas & Grill, no one has claimed the prize, and the identity of the winner is still unknown.

“The winner has not come forward” and has a year to claim the jackpot, said Gregg Mineo, director of the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery. It is the first winning Mega Millions lottery ticket sold in Maine and the fourth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

On Saturday in Lebanon, the talk of the town remained: “Who won?”

“It’s definitely not me,” said Josh O’Meara, while working at the Lebanon transfer station.

“I wouldn’t be shoveling snow,” he said. “This is a small town. I’m hoping somebody from town won.”

O’Meara’s transfer station colleague Roger Neault agreed. His wife frequently buys lottery tickets. If she won, “I wouldn’t be here,” Neault said with a smile.


Marc Hopkins of Lebanon said he’s heard no announcements about who won the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot. “If it was me, I’d take my time and plan ahead, because you can come up with more friends and relatives than you ever thought of,” Hopkins said. Bonnie Washuk/Staff Writer

Marc Hopkins said he buys lottery tickets every week. While unloading trash and recyclables from his truck Saturday, he said he’s heard lots of talk, but no announcements.

If he won the $1.35 billion jackpot, Hopkins said he wouldn’t rush into the Maine Lottery office in Augusta and claim the prize.

“If it was me, I’d take my time and plan ahead, because you can come up with more friends and relatives than you ever thought of,” Hopkins said.

How long before a winner emerges? “We don’t know what to expect,” Mineo said. “We don’t have much experience with a very large jackpot being won in Maine.” The winner could claim the prize and remain anonymous if he or she is represented by a trust, Mineo said.

Fred Cotreau, Hometown Gas & Grill store owner, said Saturday that he has heard three different rumors of different winners. “But I haven’t noticed any limousines” in town, he joked.

A frequent speculation: Did the winner lose the ticket?


“It does happen,” Cotreau said. He’s heard that sometimes a winning ticket is lost, gets washed in a pants pocket in the laundry or ends up on the floor of a car.

The Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, which sold a winning ticket for the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot on Friday the 13th. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Andrew Clement of Springvale said he barely ever plays the lottery, “but a few days before the drawing I bought a ticket” from the Hometown Gas & Grill. After the Friday the 13th drawing, Clement said he lost his ticket. “I couldn’t find it, but I saw the numbers and I didn’t win.”

The winning numbers were: 30, 43, 45, 46, 61, and gold Mega Ball 14. Clement uses the ages of his two young children. “So, I knew it wasn’t my ticket. Wouldn’t that be the worst nightmare? I think everyone’s had that nightmare,” he said.

If after 12 months no one has turned in the winning ticket, Mineo said the unclaimed money would go back into the Mega Millions consortium pool. According to the Mega Millions web page, if no winner comes forward after the allotted time, the states that participate in the game would get back the money each contributed to the jackpot.

Cotreau said his lottery agent told him that even if a winner never steps forward, his store will receive $50,000.

“Because I sold the ticket, the store receives a $50,000 bonus. They verified that the store sold the winning ticket.”


He plans to share the bonus with his staff.  Cotreau said he doesn’t know when. “It’s a waiting game,” he said. He gathered his 15 store workers and told them they’re getting part of the bonus. “I’m going to give half to the staff. Their checks will be based on the amount of time they’re employed by the store.”

James Chapman, a cook at the Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon where the winning Mega Millions ticket was sold, said Saturday that the town is still abuzz over who the winner might be. He heard a rumor that a Central Maine Power lineman won the jackpot. Bonnie Washuk/Staff Writer

Hometown Gas & Grill cooks James Chapman of Lebanon and Kim Roberge of Sanford said they were thrilled about getting some of the bonus.

The town is abuzz with speculation about who won, she said. “It’s calmed down a little, but they’re still talking about it. I think people will talk about it until it’s announced,” Roberge said.

Chapman said he heard a Central Maine Power lineman won the jackpot. “I’m not sure how true it is.” Another rumor was that the winner could have been a regular customer who showed up for breakfast every day. That speculation grew when that customer didn’t show up for three days after the drawing. Finally the person came in for breakfast. He wasn’t the winner, Chapman said.

Chapman and Roberge said they both play the lottery.

Roberge said if she won she would tell the world. “I don’t think I could contain it,” she said. “It’s nice to dream.”

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