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Single ticket wins US lottery's $1.9 billion jackpot

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The US state of Maine has scored its first Mega Millions jackpot – and someone beat the ill fortune of Friday the 13th – when a ticket purchased in the state matched the winning numbers for the lottery's estimated $US1.35 billion ($1.9 billion) grand prize.

The lucky combination of numbers drawn late Friday night (Saturday AEDT) were: 30, 43, 45, 46, 61 and gold Mega Ball 14.

The winner, whose name is not yet known, overcame steep odds of 1 in 302.6 million, which led to three months of drawings without a claim on the jackpot.

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The last jackpot was won at $US502 million ($719.5 million) on October 14, when there were two winning tickets from California and Florida, the Mega Millions said.

"Congratulations to the Maine State Lottery, which has just won its first-ever Mega Millions jackpot," Pat McDonald, Ohio lottery director and lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium, said in a statement early Saturday (Saturday night AEDT).

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The jackpot was the second largest in Mega Millions history and the fourth time the game has had a billion-dollar win.

People wait in line at the Lotto Store at Primm just inside the California border, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, near Primm, Nev. Mega Millions players will have another chance Friday night to end months of losing and finally win a jackpot that has grown to $1.35 billion

The largest Mega Millions jackpot, in October 2018, was $US1.53 billion ($2.2 billion) claimed by a single ticket holder in South Carolina.

It became the third largest lotto win in US history, behind two Powerball wins – the richest ever being won last November, when a single ticket took home the world's largest prize of $US2.04 billion ($2.9 billion).

It eclipsed the previous record holder for the US of $US1.59 billion ($2.28 billion) in 2016, the first time it went over the billion-dollar mark.

Friday's prosperous drawing also marked the seventh time there was a grand prize winner on Friday the 13th, a date superstitiously considered unlucky.

People wait in line around the building at the Lotto Store at Primm just inside the California border, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, near Primm, Nev. Mega Millions players will have another chance Friday night to end months of losing and finally win a jackpot that has grown to $1.35 billion.

To claim the full $US1.35 billion ($1.9 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 $US724.6 million ($1 billion).

The next grand prize drawing on Tuesday will drop to an estimated $US20 million ($28.7 million) and a cash option of $US10.7 million ($15.3 million).

Until Friday night, there had been 25 straight drawings without a jackpot winner.

People wait in line at "The Lotto Store at Primm" just inside the California border Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, near Primm, Nev. Mega Millions players will have another chance Friday night to end months of losing and finally win a jackpot that has grown to $1.35 billion

There were more than seven million winning tickets across nine prize tiers on Friday.

Beyond Maine's jackpot, 14 tickets matched five white balls to claim the second-tier prize of $US1 million ($1.4 million). Four were sold in New York, two in California and one each in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas, Mega Millions said.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.



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