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Mega Millions winning numbers announced

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Tuesday night's winning numbers are 8, 20, 14, 17, 39, and Megaball 7.

Tonight's Mega Millions drawing is very close to being the biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, but a handful of states are not in the game- including Alabama.

Some people are driving to Columbus from very far away to buy tickets.

They're all here for a shot at the near-record jackpot, and if you noticed that those are occurring more and more often recently, you're right. Lottery officials are manipulating the numbers so that odds are worse while ticket prices remain the same, but somehow people want to buy them even more.  

The chances of winning tonight's Mega millions jackpot is one in two hundred fifty nine million.   This past October, Mega millions changed the rules to make it harder to win.   Players used to pick numbers from one to fifty-six, but now its one to seventy-five.   That small difference was designed to keep jackpots rolling over longer without winners, and it looks like it's working.

The Lotto Mart on Victory Drive has had customers coming in and out all day long.

 "Compared to other days, this is the busiest day I've ever worked," said Lotto Mart employee, Gregory Davis. 

Even though they live in one of seven states that don't participate in Mega millions, some Alabama residents aren't going to let that stop them from getting a chance to win.

"I would love for Alabama to have the lottery, but they don't.   So I had to come way to Georgia.   And it's worth the trip.   This may be my lucky night to win $636 million," said Catina Ruiz of Montgomery.

She said she travels to Columbus at least once a month to buy lottery tickets regardless of what the jackpot is. 

"I work very hard to win this lottery. I pick the numbers myself. I even study my numbers."

According to CNN, this drawing produced at least one winner in San Jose, Ca. and Atlanta, Ga.

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