Did the sound of your alarm have a certain "ca-ching!" ring to it this morning? For two new Mega Millionaires, it just might have.
Lotto devotees and first-time believers flocked to their nearest ticket supplier before the 11 p.m. (EST) draw. The winning numbers of the Dec. 17 Mega Millions (almost billion) lotto are 8-14-17-20-39, and 7 for the Mega Ball.
But the real winners -- one in San Jose and the other in Atlanta will now split the fourth-largest jackpot at $636 million. One has yet to come forward. Debbie Alford, Georgia Lottery chief executive, has confirmed Ira Curry, of Stone Mountain, as the Georgia ticket holder. Additional personal information about Curry is unknown, other than that she "bought just one ticket, and used family birthdays and lucky No. 7 to choose her numbers," reports the Huffington Post.
Fox News explains that "based on the $636 million figure, the winners would receive $318 million each over time, or $170 million each in cash." However, with projected sales exceeding expectation at $336 million, the final jackpot is looking more like $645 million.
The lucky Georgia ticket was sold at Gateway Newsstand in the Buckhead area of Atlanta by Young Soolee. Thuy Nguyen sold the other winning ticket at Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose, and thanks to California law, he'll get $1 million just for selling the ticket.
"Twenty tickets were sold nationwide that matched five of six numbers, just missing the Mega, and are worth $1 million each, except for two in California that are worth $2.6 million each because of different rules," reported the Los Angeles Times.
Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and Mega Millions lead director, says, "We've never had a jackpot this high the week before Christmas. You like to see winners, and you like to see big jackpots."
This most recent jackpot began on Oct. 4 at $12 million. By last week, it had skyrocketed to $425 million, then was increased to $550 million just before a no winner cash-in on Friday the 13th. That was the 20th increase in the lottery jackpot, the accumulating result of no claims since the March 2012 national record of a $656 million triple-winning ticket. $300 million was generated over this time, which will support the significant programs supported by the 45 Mega Millions.
"The large Mega Millions prize is the product of a major game revamp in October that dramatically lowered the odds of winning the jackpot," says Fox News.
The Mega Millions pot will now reset to $15 million for Friday's drawing.