The MEGA MILLIONS jackpot of $355 million has been won by two ticketholders in Idaho and Washington, however, their identity is yet to be revealed. The lucky winners beat odds of one-in-176 million to scoop the prize after the winning numbers were announced yesterday (5th January 2011) The win is one of the biggest in American lottery history and is the first jackpot win since 25th November 2010 when a ticket worth $25 million went unclaimed, reports Cnn.
The Washington winner of yesterday's prize purchased their ticket at a 'Safeway' store in Ephrata, a town between Seattle and Spokane. Both winners will have the option of accepting their jackpot as a lump sum, or dividing it into 26 annual payments. Speaking before the draw was made, a spokeswoman for New York state's lottery division said, "The odds are 1 in 176 million. But plenty of people have done it before". In order to scoop the jackpot prize, players have to match five numbers plus the 'Mega Ball' and it was reported that sixty-seven players hit five out of six numbers yesterday, winning $250,000 each.
The jackpot falls just short of the biggest ever won in America, as two people from Georgia and New Jersey shared $390 million back in 2007.