NY Lottery MEGA Millions // Lotteries

NY Lottery MEGA Millions

The Mega Millions Jackpot reached 6 million Tuesday.DES MOINES, Iowa — The two winning Mega Millions tickets were sold in California and Georgia, lottery officials said Wednesday.

The $636 million jackpot was the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

One ticket was sold in San Jose, Calif., California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said. The other was sold in Georgia, but Mega Millions' lead director Paula Otto said early Wednesday morning that she didn't yet know in which city it had been sold.

Otto, who is also the Virginia Lottery's executive director, said $336 million in tickets were sold for Tuesday's drawing — they had projected $319 million.

"Sales were a little better than we'd anticipated, " Otto said. "It was a fun run, it was our first holiday run for either of the big jackpot games."

Richard Drew/AP If someone wins Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing, it is estimated that —if they choose the cash option — they could still take home 1 million before taxes.

If someone wins Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing, it is estimated that —if they choose the cash option — they could still take home 1 million before taxes.She said because of the higher sales, the jackpot may be more around 5 million. The final jackpot will be available by midday Wednesday, she said.

The jackpot started its ascent on Oct. 4. Twenty-two draws came and went without a winner, Otto said. She also said a billion worth of tickets were sold during the run, earning the places that offer Mega Millions — 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands — a total of $300 million.

The winning numbers were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7. The jackpot resets to $15 million for the next drawing, which is on Friday night.

The San Jose ticket was sold at Jennifer's Gift Shop, Traverso said.

LARRY W. SMITH/EPA A cashier sells a Mega Millions lottery ticket at a gas station in Dallas. The multi-state drawing is the second-largest jackpot in history.

"For us, the main thing we'd like to get across is the level of excitement we saw all across California, " he said. "At one point, we were selling about 25, 000 tickets per minute. It's been an amazing experience. It's unbelievable."

The winners can choose to be paid over time or in a cash lump sum, Otto said. Based on the $636 million figure, the winners would receive $318 million each over time or $170 million each in cash.

Mega Millions changed its rules in October to help increase the jackpots by lowering the odds of winning the top prize. That means the chances of winning the jackpot are now about 1 in 259 million. It used to be about 1 in 176 million, nearly the same odds of winning a Powerball jackpot.

But that hasn't stopped aspiring multimillionaires from playing the game.

LARRY W. SMITH/EPA The Mega Millions jackpot for Tuesday’s drawing is estimated to be $636 million.

"Oh, I think there's absolutely no way I am going to win this lottery, " said Tanya Joosten, 39, an educator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who bought several tickets Tuesday. "But it's hard for such a small amount of money to not take the chance."

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