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2 winners in $636M Mega Millions drawing

Lottery officials: Winning tickets sold in California, Georgia

  • Mega-Millions-Jackpot-24

    A cashier holds a Mega Millions lottery ticket at a convenience store in Lisbon, Maine, Tuesday.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

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    A clerk prepares to operate a lottery machine to print out Mega Millions lottery tickets for a customer at Tobacco Plus Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in Muncie, Ind. With tickets selling well, the jackpot for tonight's drawing is now at an estimated $636 million, the second-biggest lottery prize in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Mega-Millions-Jackpot-26

    Holly Alfred prints out Mega Millions lottery tickets for a customer at Tobacco Plus Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in Muncie, Ind. With tickets selling well, the jackpot for tonight's drawing is now at an estimated $636 million, the second-biggest lottery prize in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mega-Millions-Jackpot-24

A cashier holds a Mega Millions lottery ticket at a convenience store in Lisbon, Maine, Tuesday.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

ATLANTA — Two lucky winning tickets were sold in Tuesday’s near-record $636 million Mega Millions drawing: one at a tiny newsstand in Atlanta, and the other more than 2,000 miles away in California.

The lucky Georgia ticket was sold at a Gateway Newsstand in Atlanta’s affluent Buckhead area, Mega Millions Executive Director Paula Otto said.

Newsstand owner Young Soolee grinned as she arrived early today at the shop off the lobby of the Alliance Center office building. The newsstand is frequented by workers at the office building, which sits across the street from an upscale mall.

“I’m so excited and so happy now,” Soolee said. “I love my store and the customer now.”

Buckhead is a financial center of Atlanta and one of its largest neighborhoods, a vast northern area known for upscale shopping centers such as Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, both a short walk from the store that sold the winning ticket.

The California ticket was sold at Jennifer’s Gift Shop in San Jose.

The winning numbers in the drawing were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7.

The jackpot was the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. It started its ascent Oct. 4. Twenty-two draws came and went without winners, Otto said.

Otto 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.”

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.

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