Florida Mega Millions Lottery
By Jason Hanna and Chuck Johnston, CNN
- NEW: At least two winning tickets were sold, one in California and one in Georgia
- The winning numbers are 8, 20, 14, 17 and 39, with a Megaball of 7
- The jackpot is so large in part because Mega Millions' odds rose with more numbers in play
- The jackpot is close to the record $656 million prize that was split in 2012
(CNN) - At least two people have matched the winning numbers in Tuesday night's $636 million Mega Millions jackpot.
One winning ticket was sold in Georgia, and the other was sold in California, lottery officials said.
The winning numbers were 8, 14, 17, 20 and 39, with a Megaball of 7.
Strong sales boosted the jackpot to 6 million from the previous estimate of 6 million, lottery officials announced late Tuesday morning.Mega Millions jackpot could be a billion Former lottery winner Cynthia Stafford Lottery agency tracks down winner Psychiatrist: Lottery fever is good
That's tantalizingly close to the U.S. record - a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot split by three winning tickets in March 2012.
This jackpot was so large in part because Mega Millions, in a sense, became tougher to win. The prize rises with each miss, and no one has won it since organizers increased the pool of numbers to choose from - making astronomical odds even longer - back in October.
In Florida, , 000 worth of tickets were sold every minute from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, CNN affiliate WFTS reported, citing lottery officials. Mega Millions tickets go for $1 each, though buyers choose to pay an additional $1 for the Megaplier option, which could multiply lesser, non-jackpot winning prizes.
A lottery player in the Bronx joked the jackpot wouldn't change his life.
One player there, Armand Lesage, said he'd like to use the jackpot to escape snowy New Hampshire for a warm vacation. But he'd also share with his large family.
"My mother had 19 of us, and that is a big family, and 14 are still living, " he told WMUR.
The chance of winning - never particularly bright - got worse in late October, when Mega Millions increased the drawing's pool of numbers. The odds of hitting the jackpot, which were 1 in 176 million, are now 1 in 259 million.
"Winning the Mega Millions is akin to getting struck by lightning at the same time you're being eaten by a shark, " Todd Northrop, founder of Lotterypost.com, told CNN.
Previously, lottery players chose five numbers, ranging from 1 to 56. It's now 1 to 75, but the sixth, gold ball has fewer numbers from which to choose, as the pool decreased from 46 to 15.
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But that changed when Cote drove to Massachusetts Lottery headquarters in Braintree with his winning ticket, claiming a one-time cash payment of $390,000 before taxes.
What was the mega millions lottery #s?
There are no Mega Millions ticket sales in Florida. The Florida State Lottery offers PowerBall, but not Mega Millions.
They also offer a game called Mega Money, but that's not even close to anything like the Mega Millions.
You've gotta travel to Georgia if you want a Mega Millions ticket.