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UPDATE: Lucky lotto tickets sold in Atlanta, San Jose

UPDATED Wednesday, December 18, 2013 --- 12:17 p.m.

ATLANTA (AP) -- Two winning tickets were sold in the near-record $636 million Mega Millions drawing: one at a tiny newsstand in Atlanta, the other more than 2,000 miles away at a gift shop in California.

The ticketholders' identities in Tuesday's drawing may remain unknown for months. California gives the winner a year to come forward. Georgia allows 180 days. But one winner is already known. Thuy Nguyen owns Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose, and California Lottery officials say he'll get $1 million for selling a winning ticket.

His Georgia counterparts aren't as lucky. Young Soolee and Young Lee own a Gateway Newsstand at an office building in upscale northern Atlanta. They sold the other winning ticket, but Georgia officials said Wednesday that they get no bonus beyond the usual commission on lottery sales.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 18, 2013 --- 4:55 a.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Lottery officials say winning ticket tickets have been sold in California and Georgia for the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

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

Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery's executive director and the lead director of Mega Millions, said that $336 million in tickets were sold for Tuesday's drawing -- they had projected $319 million.

California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said Tuesday night that one ticket was sold at Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose, Calif.

Otto didn't know yet where in Georgia the ticket had been sold.

The jackpot resets to $15 million for the next drawing, which is on Friday night.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, December 17, 2013 --- 11:14 a.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Mega Millions estimated jackpot has soared to $636 million, making it the second largest jackpot in U.S. history.

The jackpot had been $586 million, but lottery officials increased it Tuesday morning because of strong ticket sales ahead of the evening drawing.

The jackpot now trails only a $656 million Mega Millions pot in March 2012.

Mega Millions changed its rules in October to help increase the jackpots by lowering the odds of winning the top prize to about 1 in 259 million.

Paula Otto, lead director for Mega Millions, says officials expect about 70 percent of the possible number combinations to be purchased. The cash option is $341 million, before taxes.

Mega Millions is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, December 16, 2013 --- 11:12 a.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot has been boosted to $586 million, a jump from the earlier projection but still trailing a $656 million prize last year that was the largest in U.S. history.

Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and Mega Millions' lead director says ticket sales are ahead of projections, one of the primary factors pushing the jackpot higher.

She says the jackpot may be increased one more time on Tuesday morning in advance of the evening drawing.

She says it's expected that between 65 and 75 percent of the 259 million possible number combinations will be in play when the numbers are drawn.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Saturday, December 14, 2013 --- 1:42 a.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- No one has won the $425 million jackpot in the Mega Millions lottery game.

Lottery officials say no one matched all of the numbers in the drawing Friday night.

The numbers drawn were: 19-24-26-27-70, Mega Ball: 12.

The jackpot now is expected to reach $550 million for the next drawing on Tuesday. The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever was a $656 million jackpot in March 2012.

The Mega Millions underwent a major game revamp in October in an effort to grow bigger jackpots in a shorter amount of time. But it also decreased the odds of a person winning the top prize to about 1 in 259 million. It was previously about 1 in 176 million, nearly the same odds as winning the Powerball jackpot.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Friday, December 13, 2013 --- 11:03 a.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The jackpot for the Mega Millions lottery game has been boosted to $425 million because of heavy sales.

Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery's executive director and Mega Millions' lead director, says sales are 40 percent ahead of projections prompting the game to boost the jackpot for the draw Friday night.

A winner choosing the cash option would take home $228 million.

In New York state, tickets are selling at a pace of $500,000 an hour Friday morning. The state's lottery spokeswoman, Christy Calicchia says sales are normally between $60,000 and $70,000 an hour.

The winning ticket must match the six numbers drawn. About 32 percent of the possible combinations of numbers have been sold.

Mega Millions is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Friday, December 13, 2013 --- 10:11 a.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Sales are brisk for Mega Millions tickets across the country as people dream of winning a $400 million jackpot.

Lottery officials in Virginia, the lead state for the Mega Millions game, say sales are expected to reach $104 million for Friday night's drawing since the last drawing Tuesday. That's about five times the sales when the jackpot is $15 million, the starting point after a jackpot is won.

Mega Millions officials will meet Friday morning to decide whether to increase the jackpot ahead of the 11 p.m. Eastern time drawing.

So far about 32 percent of the possible combinations of numbers have been sold.

The winning ticket must match the six numbers drawn.

Mega Millions is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Thursday, December 12, 2013 --- 4:00 p.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Mega Millions jackpot is the second-largest in the game's history and comes less than two months after the game made changes aimed at inflating its jackpots.

Mega Millions officials lowered the odds of winning in October and, thus, increased the odds of jackpots rolling over. The jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing stood Thursday at an estimated $400 million. It is the fifth-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.

Mega Millions operators made the changes after seeing how changes to Powerball helped that lottery's jackpots balloon. Among other changes, Powerball doubled its ticket price in January 2012 from $1 to $2.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2013 --- 11:32 a.m.

From our news partner, WITI in Milwaukee:

The Mega Million lottery jackpot is up for grabs on Tuesday, December 10th — and the estimated jackpot right now stands at $344 million.

That gives the winner a $184 million cash option.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 175,711,536.

If you match five numbers without the Mega ball, your odds improve to 1 in 3,904,701 for a $250,000 prize. There’s a 1 in 75 chance of winning a $2 prize by matching only the Mega ball.

Mega Millions is offered in 42 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U. S. Virgin Islands; a total of 44 jurisdictions. Each play costs $1.


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