Mega Millions $425m Jackpot: Winning Numbers Revealed

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By arjun varma | December 14, 2013 5:15 PM EST

The winning numbers for the $425m (£261m) Mega Millions lottery are out. They are 19, 24, 26, 27, 70 and Mega ball 12, US lottery officials have said.

A winner with a ticket matching all six numbers would have the choice of a full jackpot in 30 annual payments or a cash option of more than $228 million, before taxes.

According to an NBC report, heavy sales prompted lottery officials to increase the Mega Millions jackpot to $425 million, making it the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever. Fortune hunters had rushed to buy tickets undeterred by Friday the 13th superstitions.

The multistate lottery game is sporting its second-largest jackpot ever, trailing a $656 million jackpot in March 2012. It is the fifth-largest lottery jackpot in the U.S. history and comes after Mega Millions underwent major changes to lure players who only buy a ticket when pots soar.

Mega Millions had been outshined somewhat by the massive jackpots of the Powerball game, which doubled ticket prices to £1.23 in January 2012, enriching jackpots as it also added a number of secondary prizes.

In New York state, tickets were selling at a pace of $500,000 an hour Friday morning. The state's lottery spokeswoman, Christy Calicchia, said sales are normally between $60,000 and $70,000 an hour, the Associated Press reported.

Mega Millions received a makeover of its own in October specifically to increase the size of jackpots. The biggest change was lowering the odds of winning, which led to fewer winners and more rollovers.

Daniel Levine, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, said people often make decisions in terms of what's possible rather than what's probable.

"They're drawn to the fact that there is a chance that they'll win, and they're not thinking about the numbers," he said in the Chicago Tribune report. "Our decisions don't always fall into a rational model."

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