This holiday season just got a lot merrier for at least two insanely lucky people.
Two tickets matched the winning numbers in Tuesday night's $636 million Mega Millions jackpot - splitting the second-largest prize in U.S. history, CNN's Alison Kosik reports.
One winning ticket was sold in Atlanta, and the other was sold in San Jose, California, lottery officials said.
The winning numbers were 8, 14, 17, 20 and 39, with a Megaball of 7. Twenty ticket holders will win $1 million after matching all the numbers except the Megaball.
Strong sales boosted the jackpot to $636 million from the previous estimate of $586 million, lottery officials announced late Tuesday morning.
That's tantalizingly close to the U.S. record - a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot split by three winning tickets in March 2012.
This jackpot was so large in part because Mega Millions became tougher to win. The prize rises with each miss, and no one had won it since organizers increased the pool of numbers to choose from - making astronomical odds even longer - in October.
The winning tickets were sold at Jenny's Gift Shop in a San Jose strip mall and a Gateway Newstand in the lobby of an office building near Atlanta's Buckhead area, lottery officials said.
In Florida, $8,000 worth of tickets were sold every minute from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, CNN affiliate WFTS reported, citing lottery officials. Mega Millions tickets go for $1 each, though buyers choose to pay an additional $1 for the Megaplier option, which could multiply lesser, non-jackpot winning prizes.
Kansas Lottery executive director Dennis Wilson talks about the process of coming forward to claim lotto winnings.
Anne Noble with the Connecticut Lottery talks about the excitement around the huge Mega Millions jackpot.
Lottery icon Yolanda Vega with the New York State Lottery talks about the excitement around the Mega Millions jackpot.
EDIT NOTE: Since the first airing of this segment, the Mega Millions jackpot has increased due to ticket sales to $640 million.
"Early Start with John Berman and Christine Romans" airs weekdays from 5-6am ET on CNN. Check in regularly for news, show updates and a little bit of fun.