WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Two winning tickets were sold in the U.S. states of Georgia and California, splitting the Mega Millions jackpot of at least 636 million U.S. dollars, the second- largest lottery prize in U.S. history, lottery officials announced on Wednesday.
The two tickets matched the winning numbers for Tuesday night's much-anticipated Mega Million jackpot of estimated 636 million dollars at the time the winning tickets were picked.
Strong sales boosted the jackpot to near-record high, just shy of the U.S. record of 656 million dollars Mega Millions jackpot, which was split by three winning tickets in March 2012.
Once all results were tallied, the final jackpot for Tuesday's drawing wound amount to 648 million dollars, the Mega Millions said in a statement released on Wednesday.
One was sold at Jenny's Gift Shop in San Jose, California, while the other was sold at a Gateway Newsstand in Atlanta, Georgia, said lottery officials.
In addition to the two jackpot winning tickets, there were also 20 tickets that each won a 1-million-dollar prize.
"It was a great run," said Paula Otto, Virginia Lottery Executive Director and Lead Director for Mega Millions. "We have two jackpot winners, but the important programs supported by the 45 Mega Millions lotteries are the real winners. During this 22- drawing run, the lotteries generated more than 300 million dollars in profits for those programs."
The winners can choose to be paid in a cash lump sum or over time. Based on the 636 million dollars figure, the winners would get 170 million dollars each in cash or 318 million dollars each over time.
Mega Millions tickets are sold in 43 states, and the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.