The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

December 18, 2013

2 winners in $636M Mega Millions drawing

DES MOINES — 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.”

She said because of the higher sales, the jackpot may be more around $645 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.

“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.

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