8-20-14-17-39 and 7.
According to California and Georgia lottery officials, two lucky people have these same six numbers printed on their Mega Millions ticket. USA Today reports that California lottery representative Alex Traverso stated that one of the winning tickets had been purchased at Jennifer’s Gift Shop located in San Jose, CA.
Shortly after California lottery officials announced the winning ticket in their state, Georgia officials came forward. Atlanta’s 11 Alive indicated that a second winning ticket was purchased at the Gateway Newstand in Atlanta. The two winners will be splitting the staggering $636 million jackpot, which has been declared as the second-largest winning in lottery history.
The Mega Millions drawing took place at 11:00 pm ET. While officials have confirmed that there are, indeed, two winning tickets that exist, there is still a chance that more winning tickets may surface in other states. Statistics indicate that the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are approximately 1 in 259 million based on the jaw-dropping $636 million total. The cumulative jackpot total, in conjunction with the increased number in ticket sales, stretches the odds to nearly impossible probabilities. However, two people on opposite ends of the country just happened to get lucky tonight.
“For us, the main thing we’d like to get across is the level of excitement we saw all across California. At one point, we were selling about 25,000 tickets per minute,” Traverso explained to the Associated Press. “It’s been an amazing experience. It’s unbelievable,” he said.
While the winners will definitely embrace the unexpected, they aren’t the only ones that will benefit from the enormous windfall. California lottery officials informed San Jose Mercury News that Thuy Nguyen, owner of Jennifer’s Gift Shop, will also receive a $1 million award for selling the Mega Millions’ winning ticket.
Nguyen took a moment to briefly express his gratitude to the San Jose Mercury News after being informed that his store sold the ticket.”I am so happy, I feel good,” said Nguyen.
The $636 million jackpot had rolled over more than 20 times as no winning tickets were produced. The lottery winnings are worth a lump-sum, pre-tax amount of approximately $314.2 million. If no winners come forward by Friday, December 20, the jackpot could swell to a whopping $825 million, or possibly even more.