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$648 million Mega Millions jackpot winner named

20 December 2013 [12:00] - TODAY.AZ
A 56-year-old married woman has won half of the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot in U.S. history and has taken the cash option, which after taxes, will be about $120 million, Georgia Lottery President Debbie Alford said Wednesday.

Ira Curry, of Stone Mountain, came to the lottery office with the winning ticket of hand-picked numbers, a mix of family birthdays and the lucky number 7. She did not appear at the afternoon lottery announcement in Atlanta.

Curry bought the ticket at the end of the day Friday and it was a last-minute decision, Alford said.

Alford gave a few details about Curry, saying she is married and had her daughter check online for the winning numbers after a radio announcer mentioned 7 was the Mega ball number.

Two tickets matched the winning numbers in Tuesday night's $648 million jackpot. Curry's half of the cash option comes to $173,819,742.50, before federal taxes (25%) and Georgia taxes (6%), officials said.

According to CNN's calculation, the payout will net her $119,935,622.32.

It will take one to two weeks before Curry will get her check, Alford said.

Curry bought her winning ticket in Atlanta at a Gateway Newstand in the lobby of an office building near the city's Buckhead community; the other ticket was sold in San Jose, California, lottery officials said.

"(Curry) had the radio on, and the announcer was talking about the Mega ball, which was seven," Alford said. So Curry called her daughter and "between tears of joys and laughter," the daughter relayed to her mother that she'd won, the lottery president said.

Curry told Alford, "I was in a state if disbelief. I still didn't believe it when my daughter told me," Alford said.



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