Two winning Mega Millions lottery tickets were sold last night, one in California and one in Georgia, granting an approximated $318 million after taxes (or $170 million in a lump cash sum) to each half of the lucky duo.
The winning tickets were sold in Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose and the Gateway Newsstand in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. The winners themselves have not yet been identified.
"The lottery called me and let me know (that the winning ticket was sold here), so then when I came and take a look, everybody (was) here, and whoa!" Nguyen said with a huge grin, jumping deliriously around the parking lot before heading out to celebrate.
Nguyen added with a laugh: "I am so happy, I feel good."
Lottery officials said Nguyen will receive roughly $1 million for selling a winning ticket.
The jackpot was expected to be about $636 million — $20 million short of the largest sum in U.S. lottery history — but may have risen to $648 million, according to a lottery spokesman. The prize has been steadily increasing since October 4th but will be reset to $15 million at the next draw, on Friday. Mega Millions changed its rules in October, making the prize sweeter, but harder to win, with odds falling from one-in-176 million to one-in-259 million. The change apparently had little affect on lottery hopefuls' spending habits. CBS Reports:
Tickets sold for Tuesday's drawing at a pace that surpassed even the lottery's expectations, said Mega Millions lead director Paula Otto, who is also executive director of the Virginia Lottery. Otto said officials expected about 70 percent of the possible number combinations to be purchased for Tuesday's drawing.
Now the winners just have to sign their tickets and claim the prize before becoming super rich and restoring our faith in the universe.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.