At least two winning tickets, one in California and another in Georgia, have been declared in the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot, lottery officials in the two states said on Wednesday. The jackpot is the second-largest in U.S. history, following a $656 million lottery in March 2012 that was split between three winners.
The winning numbers in Tuesday's jackpot were 8, 14, 17, 20 and 39, with a Megaball number of 7. One winning ticket was purchased at Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose, Calif., Alex Traverso, spokesman for California Lottery said, while the second ticket was sold at the Gateway Newstand in Atlanta, officials confirmed.
"For us, the main thing we'd like to get across is the level of excitement we saw all across California," Traverso said, according to an Associated Press report. "At one point, we were selling about 25,000 tickets per minute. It's been an amazing experience. It's unbelievable."
Twenty tickets have won $1 million for matching all the numbers except the Megaball number.
Thuy Nguyen, the owner of Jennifer's Gift Shop, which sold one of the winning tickets, will receive a prize of about $1 million, lottery officials told the San Jose Mercury News.
"I am so happy, I feel good," Nguyen told the Mercury News.
The ticket holders will split the $636 million jackpot, a lottery official told CBS News, adding that the prize money could grow up to $645 million.
Winners can choose to receive their prizes as a one-time payment or, in one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments, each with a five percent increase over the previous sum, according to the Mega Millions website.