NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — At least one ticket matched the winning numbers for the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot Tuesday night — the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
The winning numbers Tuesday night were 8, 14, 17, 20, 39, and Mega Ball 7. California Lottery officials say a ticket sold in San Jose matches all six numbers. It was unclear Tuesday night if there were any other winning tickets.
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 trailed only the $656 million Mega Millions pot in March 2012.
Paula Otto, lead director for Mega Millions, said officials estimated that about 70 percent of the possible number combinations were purchased. The cash option is $341 million, before taxes.
Otto noted that the higher the jackpot, the higher the sales. For example, when the jackpot was $99 million on Nov. 5, lottery officials sold just over $20 million worth of tickets. For Friday’s then-$425 million jackpot, $168 million worth of tickets were sold.
The large Mega Millions prize is the product of a major game revamp in October that dramatically lowered the odds of winning the jackpot.
As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, the enormous jackpot meant checkout lines Tuesday afternoon. One buyer reported snapping up 10 times as many tickets as usual.
The jackpot also drew in people who haven’t played in years.
“I never play, and it kept going, kept going, kept going,” said Alma Lamarr.
Mega Millions changed its rules back in October to help increase the jackpots by lowering the odds of winning the top prize to about 1 in 259 million.
But some have hoped to up their chances. One man went to a store where he feels lucky.
“We actually won a couple dollars where, so it’s like a lucky spot,” he said.
Another man said he went from store to store to buy tickets. He said he went to “maybe five, 10, 15” stores.”
A woman said she was pooling her money with others.
“We put our names all on the thing. We made copies for everybody,” she said.
And one man who has played the lottery every day for 15 years said he choose the numbers and has someone else choose for him too – taking both chances. But he conceded that he has never won anything.
Meanwhile, before the drawing, some experts had some advice on what winners should do with their money – particularly given so many stories about lives ruined by the lottery and winners who blow their millions.
As 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported, adviser Robert Pagliarini – who helps people who inherit or win a lot of money – said he has seen it strain relationships.
“They win, they start to do a lot of fun things, they buy a lot of toys – but the relationships can suffer if they don’t handle it correctly,” he said.
Pagliarini advises people to slow down, make a wish list, and really look at it instead of running out in spending.
And anyone who has had any major debt or substance abuse problems is advised not to take the lump sum.
“If you just kind of know that you’re probably not the best person to manage a few hundred million dollars, take the annuity,” Pagliarini said.
That way, winners get a clean slate every year.
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