Two winning tickets in US $636m Mega Millions lottery
Two winning tickets have been sold for the US's second largest jackpot in history, the $636m (£390m) Mega Millions draw, lottery officials say.
They said one ticket was sold in California, at Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose, and another ticket was sold in Atlanta in Georgia.
Long queues were reported around the country in stores selling the tickets ahead of the draw.
The winning numbers were 8, 14, 17, 20 and 39, with a Megaball of 7.
The current American jackpot record is $656m - that was split between three winners in 2012.
The jackpot was previously estimated at $586m, but on Tuesday lottery officials increased their prediction due to strong ticket sales.'Time for believing'
Undeterred by odds of one in 259 million, large queues of would-be winners formed at petrol stations and convenience stores in the 43 US states that participate in the draw.
If received in a lump cash sum as opposed to an annuity, the total would be $341m, a lottery official reported.
"I feel it. I believe. It's Christmas. It's time for believing and I know I'm going to win it," Nesha Isahak told Reuters news agency as she bought her ticket at a newsstand in Manhattan, New York.
"I think there's absolutely no way I am going to win this lottery," Tanya Joosten, 39, told the Associated Press news agency in Milwaukee. "But it's hard for such a small amount of money to not take the chance."
Not every winner need necessarily face the standard news conference with the bottle of bubbly and chunky cardboard cheque.
Six US states allow lottery winners to remain anonymous: South Carolina, Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota and Ohio.
In several other states, it is reportedly possible for winners to keep their names secret by claiming their jackpot through a trust or a limited liability company.