DES MOINES, Iowa - The numbers for the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot were drawn Tuesday night. And, there is at least one winning ticket for the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, sold in San Jose, Calif.
The winning numbers were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7. The cash option is estimated at $341 million, before taxes.
Within an hour of the drawing, California lottery officials were reporting a winning ticket had been sold in San Jose.
The jackpot trails only a $656 million Mega Millions pot that was sold in March 2012.
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 were 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 hadn'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."
Tickets were selling at a pace that surpassed even the lottery's expectations, said Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and lead director for Mega Millions.