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Lottery Official Reminds Mainers They’re Exceedingly Unlikely To Win $1.6 Billion Jackpot

Charlie Neibergall
Associated Press
A customer shows his Mega Millions lottery ticket at a local grocery store, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa.

The prize for the Mega Millions lottery is at $1.6 billion, and Mainers are buying up tickets. But the director of operations for the Maine Lottery, Michael Boardman, urges players not to get carried away.

“You’re probably not going to win, this is the reality and we want people to understand. They may if they buy a ticket, so buy a ticket and dream, but don’t spend a bunch of money on it because the odds are just not good,” he says.

Boardman says big jackpots are good for retailers, however.

“They get 5 percent for every ticket they sell, plus there’s also a bonus, so if they were to sell the winning ticket they would get a $50,000 bonus,” he says.

Boardman says the store in Maine that’s sold the most tickets so far is Broadway Variety in South Portland.

In the event that Maine does have a Mega Millions winner, he or she can opt to remain anonymous — but Boardman says that’s never happened.

“What a winner could do in Maine is they could file their claim in the name of a trust, and the trust becomes the winner. So that’s how a winner could claim their ticket anonymously,” he says.

The Mega Millions drawing is Tuesday night. It’s played in 44 states, Washington D.C. and the US Virgin Islands.

Originally published Oct. 23, 2018 at 2:46 p.m. ET.

Nora is originally from the Boston area but has lived in Chicago, Michigan, New York City and at the northern tip of New York state. Nora began working in public radio at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and has been an on-air host, a reporter, a digital editor, a producer, and, when they let her, played records.