December 18th, 2013
09:47 AM ET

Numbers Announced for $636 Million Mega Millions Jackpot

This holiday season just got a lot merrier for two insanely lucky people.

Two tickets matched the winning numbers in Tuesday night's $636 million Mega Millions jackpot - splitting the second largest prize in U.S. history.

One winning ticket was sold in Atlanta, and the other was sold in San Jose, California, lottery officials said.

The winning numbers were 8, 14, 17, 20 and 39, with a Megaball of 7. Twenty ticket holders will win $1 million after matching all the numbers except the Megaball.

Strong sales boosted the jackpot to $636 million from the previous estimate of $586 million, lottery officials announced late Tuesday morning.

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 became tougher to win. The prize rises with each miss, and no one won it since organizers increased the pool of numbers to choose from - making astronomical odds even longer - in October.

Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto spoke on "New Day" Wednesday and she had some advice for the two main winners.

Otto said: "Sign your ticket, sign it a couple of times, make certain it is in a very safe place. And perhaps, consult with some legal or some financial folks, before you officially come forward to claim that prize."

 

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