Two Winning Tickets Announced for $636 Mega Millions Jackpot In Atlanta and San Jose
We've all been asked what we'd do with a million dollars, but two Mega Millions winners are waking up Wednesday morning to answer how they'd split a $636-million jackpot — the second-largest jackpot in the game's history. The winning tickets were sold in Atlanta, Ga., and San Jose, Calif. with winning numbers of 8, 14, 17, 20, and 39, and a Megaball number of 7. The numbers were announced at 11 p.m. last night, but so far, no one's stepped up to claim their half of the prize. For those who didn't guess the Megaball number, but had all the other numbers right, the payout still isn't bad: Twenty of them will win a cool $1 million anyway.
If the two Mega Millions winners don't come forward, the jackpot will continue to grow until Friday's drawing — and if that keeps up, it won't be long until another $20 million is added, which would make this the largest jackpot in history. But with all the frenzy surrounding this drawing, officials are predicting the sum will soon clock in at projected $950 million before Friday night.
The final total for the jackpot could actually go up today as well: Tuesday's sales haven't been added in to the final sum yet, and with up to 70 percent of tickets sold the day of a drawing, the final Mega Millions total could be closer to $645 million.
In Florida, for example, $8,000 in tickets were sold every minute Tuesday morning between 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., as commuters hoping to quit their day jobs swung by convenience stores. In California, the fever pitch hit 25,000 tickets per minute.
The MegaMillions pool started at $12 million on Oct. 4, but so far, no one's won. That month, officials increased the range of numbers to choose from. So it's simply become harder to win: The odds of winning the lottery have increased from 1 in 176 million to 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," Lotterypost.com founder Todd Northrop said.