Fred Cotreau, owner of Hometown Gas and Grill in Lebanon, stands in front of the convenience store where a winning Mega Millions ticket was sold last month. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

The winner of the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot has come forward to accept the prize.

The holder of the lottery ticket, sold Jan. 13 in the York County town of Lebanon, accepted the winnings privately through the limited liability company LaKoma Island Investments, Maine Lottery announced Wednesday. The winner chose to take the prize in a one-time cash payment of $723,564,144 before taxes.

According to Maine Lottery, a representative for the winner stated, “The winner of the Mega Millions jackpot is thoughtfully considering the best uses of the life-changing prize.”

A database search for companies with the LaKoma name in Maine and elsewhere did not turn up any entities with a likely connection to the winner, who overcame odds of 1 in 302.6 million to snag the jackpot.

A manager at Hometown Gas & Grill, the Lebanon store that sold the winning ticket, said Wednesday that no one claiming to be the winner has visited the business and that she had no inside information about the winner’s identity.

The question of “who” is generating much excitement and speculation in the town of 6,300 people between Rochester, New Hampshire, and Sanford.


Tammy LeTourneau said a rumor circulating locally is that the winner is a man who lives in Sanford and recently quit his job as an electrical lineman. She said no other information has surfaced, such as a name or what LaKoma Island refers to. LeTourneau said she too has done internet searches to track down information about the winner, but without luck.

Several other shoppers in the store Wednesday said they, too, had heard the rumor about the winner being someone from Sanford. But none of the shoppers said they had details.

Fred Cotreau, owner of Hometown Gas & Grill, was awarded $50,000 for selling the winning ticket. He previously said he planned to share some of the money with his staff.

The owner of the winning ticket had up to a year to claim the prize. Maine Lottery rules allow ticket holders to claim winnings directly at the state offices in Augusta or through a trust or other legal entity, which would permit the winner to remain anonymous.

“We congratulate the winner of the Mega Millions jackpot and wish them all the best as they consider how to best use their recent winnings,” Michael Boardman, director of the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations, said in a statement.

The jackpot was the second-largest in Mega Millions history and the fourth time the game has had a billion-dollar win. The largest Mega Millions jackpot in October 2018 was $1.53 billion claimed by a single ticket holder in South Carolina. Two Powerball jackpots have been larger, with one eclipsing $2 billion.

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