Associated Press, Published January 05 2011
Winning tickets for $355M Mega Millions jackpot sold in Idaho, Washington statePHOENIX (AP) — At least two people are waking up to find themselves millions of dollars richer.
The holders of a ticket sold in Idaho and another in Washington state will be sharing Mega Millions’ $355 million jackpot from Tuesday night’s drawing, lottery officials said Wednesday.
The prize is the fourth-largest in U.S. history and the second-largest in Mega Millions’ history, said Arizona Lottery spokeswoman Cindy Esquer. The lottery’s prize of $390 million in March 2007 remains the nation’s richest on record.
The two winners from Tuesday will each get $177.5 million. Besides the jackpot, prizes range from $2 to $250,000.
The princely sum drew huge interest across the country as thousands of people lined up to buy tickets in 41 states and Washington, D.C., where the game is available.
Hundreds of people poured into the tiny Arizona towns of Littlefield and Beaver Dam, crossing into the state from Nevada and Utah, where Mega Millions tickets are not sold.
At Rosie’s Cafe on U.S. 93 north of Kingman near the Nevada line, hundreds drove in over the weekend to buy tickets for the game.
“The line was going out the door,” with 500 or more in line at times on Saturday and Sunday, said waitress and cashier Christine Millim.
Jackpot winners for the Mega Millions game have to match five regular numbers plus the “Mega ball.” The winning numbers were 4, 8, 15, 25 and 47, with 42 being the “Mega ball” number.
One dollar was all it took to buy a chance at millions of dollars — and a lofty dream.
“I’m going to take care of my family — buy them new houses, new cars and travel a little bit,” said Larry White, who bought a ticket in Atlanta.
Others said they would use the money to start foundations, retire or take vacations.
Sheila Twine, in Atlanta, said she would pay off her and her daughter’s bills and help people in need.
“With all this money, I could help a lot of people,” she said.