Two winners in $648 million Mega Millions drawing

Two winners in Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing will share in a $648 million jackpot, the second-largest lottery ever held in the United States. An Atlanta newsstand and a San Jose gift shop each sold a ticket with the winning numbers of 8, 14, 17, 20 and 29 and a Mega Ball of 7.

The prize was only $8 million short of the record of $656 million, which Mega Millions set last year. That drawing, however, had three winners instead of two.

Because of California’s lottery rules, the owner of Jennifer’s Gift Shop in San Jose, who sold one of the tickets, will win receive $1 million, the Associated Press reported. The owners of the Gateway Newsstand in Atlanta’s Buckhead financial district who sold the other ticket will only receive their ordinary commission.

Both states will identify the winners when and if they claim their prizes.

After a change to the rules of Mega Millions in October, winning the jackpot became less likely. The current jackpot began growing Oct. 4, and it was only this week, after 22 drawings, that anyone was able to claim the prize.

Participating lotteries took in $300 million in profits during that time, Mega Millions Director Paula Otto said in a statement. The money will go to schools and the other public programs the lotteries support.

Max Ehrenfreund is a blogger on the Financial desk and writes for Know More and Wonkblog.
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