Dec. 19, 2013 – Two tickets matched all six numbers drawn in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing. One of those lucky winners came forward to claim her prize Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after the drawing.
Fifty-six-year-old Ira Curry lives in Stone Mountain, Ga., about fifteen miles northeast of Atlanta, where she purchased the ticket that won her half of Tuesday night’s $648 million Mega Millions jackpot.
Curry split that estimated prize with a ticket sold in San Jose, Calif., and then chose the cash option for her $324 million share. Before taxes she’ll receive about $173 million, and will net about $123 million after state and federal taxes are withheld.
While Curry did not make an appearance at a press conference held in Georgia Lottery headquarters, she did provide comments for the Lottery’s press release.
She told the Lottery that she chose the winning numbers herself Tuesday, using a combination of family birthdays and their lucky number – 7 – as the Mega Ball.
On her way to work Wednesday morning, Curry said she heard the announcement that Georgia’s winning Mega Millions ticket had been purchased at the same newsstand where she bought hers, and had her daughter check the winning numbers.
“It’s unreal,” Curry told the Lottery Wednesday morning. She said she was able to stay calm Wednesday morning simply because she couldn’t believe she’d actually won, adding “it’s like I’m still dreaming.”
She told Lottery officials that she hadn’t had a chance to consider what she’d do with her $123 million windfall.
California’s winner from Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing has yet to come forward, and has 180 days to do so.