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ATLANTA -- Three winning tickets were sold for the $325 million Big Game jackpot in Georgia, Illinois and New Jersey.
One was claimed by Erica Green, who purchased her ticket at a QuikTrip convenience store in Dacula, Ga. Each winning ticket is worth $108,333,333 in the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history. Georgia Lottery Corp. President Rebecca Paul said she could not immediately confirm that Green held the winning ticket, the Associated Press reported.
A second ticket was reportedly sold at a Speedway convenience store in Illinois.
Big Game ticket buyers can choose payments over 26 years or a smaller, one-time sum. Because Green opted for the single payout, her winnings would be about $58 million, but "could well be more than that" after the final ticket sales are tallied, Paul said.
Illinois state lottery director Lori Montana said another winning ticket was sold in Bridgeview, a suburb southwest of Chicago. The third ticket matching all five numbers and the Big Money ball was sold in New Jersey's Union County, said Carol Hedinger, acting executive director of the New Jersey Lottery Commission. The odds of winning were 76 million to one.
The Big Game is played in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia. Its largest jackpot was in 2000, when two winners split $363 million. The game is going to get even bigger next month when New York, Ohio and Washington, D.C., join and the name is changed to Mega Millions.
Lottery officials say some jackpots will get close to $500 million, and the average will be $80 million. The first Mega Millions drawing will be May 17 with a jackpot of $10 million.