Winners in $636M drawing

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The two winning Mega Millions tickets were sold in California and Georgia, lottery officials said today.

The $636 million jackpot was the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

One ticket was sold in San Jose, Calif., California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said. The other was sold in Georgia, but Mega Millions' lead director Paula Otto said early this morning that she didn't yet know in which city it had been sold.

Otto, who is also the Virginia Lottery's executive director, said $336 million in tickets were sold for Tuesday's drawing.

The winning numbers were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7. The jackpot resets to $15 million for the next drawing, which is on Friday night.

The winners can choose to be paid over time or in a cash lump sum, Otto said. Based on the $636 million figure, the winners would receive $318 million each over time or $170 million each in cash.

Mega Millions changed its rules in October to help increase the jackpots by lowering the odds of winning the top prize. That means the chances of winning the jackpot are now about 1 in 259 million. It used to be about 1 in 176 million, nearly the same odds of winning a Powerball jackpot.

But that hasn't stopped aspiring multimillionaires from playing the game.

"Oh, I think there's absolutely no way I am going to win this lottery," said Tanya Joosten, 39, an educator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who bought several tickets Tuesday. "But it's hard for such a small amount of money to not take the chance."

The Mega Millions revamp comes about two years after Powerball changed some of its game rules and increased the price of a ticket to $2 and added $1 million and $2 million secondary prizes. Mega Millions remains $1, and an extra $1 option has been expanded to allow up to $5 million as a secondary prize.

The changes in both games were aimed at creating bigger and faster growing jackpots. So far, it looks like it's working.

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Associated Press writers Channing Joseph in San Francisco, Erica Hunzinger in Chicago and Carrie Antlfinger in Milwaukee contributed to this report.

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