'Tis the Season to Win Mega Millions

Winning tickets in California, Georgia for $636 million jackpot.
3:00 | 12/18/13

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Transcript for 'Tis the Season to Win Mega Millions
From Florida. Did Texas I have become the winner to Illinois. -- Atlanta thinking that California dollar doesn't -- to New Jersey club. Seated shining sea Mega Millions has united the country and and scrambled for tickets after that I am not -- -- -- They're hoping for a Christmas Miracle-Gro a trend that we've got -- 120 dollars at its peak today because that -- half a million tickets sold for me. Driving the -- at least 636. Million dollars Paul leading up to tonight's dramatic -- their -- to -- grand prize winners one in San Jose California and second in Atlanta Georgia and the. Well twenty ticket holders won a billion dollars each so what -- the total prize money -- bought you. NB eighteenth in the world champion Miami Heat. Or a Hawaiian island like the one bought by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Or a trip into space on the -- -- rocket with ten of your closest friends. Similarly the odds are astronomical. Why -- 258. Million. You'd be more likely to be hit by an asteroid. Still people keep buying because after all eventually somebody's bound to win. Just ask retired police officer Stephen on Tel 01 million dollar lottery man who has beaten the odds before. -- he's had years ago I always felt I would be looking in on Intel has won three times. For people who want to believe there's a science to being lucky. What would you say. It's just all faith in -- So what is key is to six cents. Walk up to -- machine. And just let the machine -- -- -- -- -- you know you the lucky lottery guy in town they're coming up rubbing news there you know old friends they know that -- tell people. She was the lucky lottery. Doesn't bother me at all. -- -- -- -- -- -- There being 21 straight drawings since the last winner this after Mega Millions officially increase the number of winning combinations. Thus. All those -- don't always bring happiness most of the time they don't even last. A surprising 70% of people who receive a windfall like the lottery. End up losing it within a few years. How would you like the embarrassment having won 300 million dollars. And then blowing at all that would be an absolute disaster. And losing their riches is only one bad outcome for lottery winners a Chicago man who won a million dollars. Was later poisoned with cyanide. His murder still unsolved. When February Amanda. A Detroit woman continue to collect 200 dollars a month in state aid after hitting a million dollar jackpot. She said she needed the money. She later died of a drug overdose. Then there was Abraham Shakespeare who won thirty million in Florida in 2006. And was found murdered three years later. A woman who -- befriended him is currently serving a life sentence. You also become a target for scam artists against the world that is well publicized. -- make your targets for predators of some sort. And if you're not you're just lucky. America loves to watch people go down the drain don't be one of those people if you ever get this much money by all means don't don't become one of those statistics. -- -- older -- Manning Calgary Canada took a different approach to a lot of windfall. -- Chris said he's giving the entire forty million dollar prize to charity. I've been fortunate enough through my career out of Italy and then look out my kids so. I really don't need money. Not everyone can afford to give -- way -- -- golden ticket. With millions of people willing to take a chance at striking it rich. Thank you thank you sir for the united. Even a man who was already won Big Three times. Now when I won that million dollars -- validated -- here they needed for my family first. I was horrified financial advisors gone out -- -- so I just won -- million dollars. And he said again. For Nightline I'm Lindsey Davis in Passaic, New Jersey.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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