LEBANON, MAINE, Maine — The westernmost town in York County, Maine, with a population of fewer than 6,500 residents, has been put under the national spotlight after a winning lottery ticket was sold at a local business.
The winning Mega Millions lottery ticket, worth $1.35 billion, was sold Friday, Jan. 13, at Hometown Gas & Grill located at 1498 Carl Broggi Highway in Lebanon.
While we still do not know who won the jackpot or where they are from, the small Maine community will forever be known as the lucky town that created a billionaire.
"[Lebanon is a] small town that doesn't have a police department. Not many people know who we are, and now the whole country in 24 hours knows the little town of Lebanon," Andrew Lytle, a Lebanon resident, said.
"I could have been the person who sold the winning ticket," Karen Downs, an employee at Hometown Gas & Grill, said. "We don't know yet because that person hasn't come forward, but we should find out soon, because it was one of three of us working who could have sold it."
The unknown winner of the jackpot is generating a lot of excitement in the otherwise quiet town.
"I got a call this morning from Augusta at [6 a.m.] alerting us of the news, so it's been a pretty busy morning here and lots of buzz here at the store," Fred Cotreau, Hometown Bar & Grill owner, said.
Chris Harding and other residents came into Hometown Gas & Grill Saturday to celebrate and talk with store employees.
"[Being from here] this is so cool. That much money? I hope it's someone from around here that could use a new mobile home. That would be great," Harding added.
As we wait to see if this winner comes forward, these Mainers are rooting for it to be one lucky local.
A lot of people from around the country are probably hearing about Lebanon for the first time this weekend.
Prior to June 17, 1767, Lebanon was known as Towwoh by the Newichawannock Abenaki tribe, according to the Maine Encyclopedia. It also borders New Hampshire on the Salmon Falls River.
Per the Maine Encyclopedia, this rural commuter town is rapidly growing. The population grew by 20 percent between 2000 and 2010.
Notable people from the town of Lebanon mentioned in the kids' encyclopedia Kiddle include:
- Charles E. Littlefield, U.S. Congress member, Maine legislator, and Maine Attorney General
- Oren Cheney, a clergyman that founded Bates College
- Claudius B. Grant, Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court
- Elihu B. Hayes, manufacturer, newspaper owner, and politician
- Charles Coffin Jewett, superintendent of the Boston Public Library
- Sumner Increase Kimball organized the United States Life-Saving Service