Ira Curry Named as Mega Millions Jackpot Winner in Stone Mountain, Georgia

By Zack
December 18, 2013 3:52 pm Last Updated: December 18, 2013 4:45 pm

Ira Curry has come forward as the winner of the Mega Millions jackpot in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The ticket was purchased in Atlanta’s Buckhead district.

Curry will get half of the $636 million jackpot, the second largest Mega Millions jackpot in history. She and her husband live in Stone Mountain.

Curry found out that she won late Tuesday evening while driving home, Georgia Lottery chief executive Debbie Alford said. 

“I was in total disbelief,” Curry told lottery officials. She declined to appear at a press conference announcing that she won. Alford said that Curry is in a state of shock.

Curry picked the winning numbers through a combination of family birthdays and her personal lucky number, number 7.

She has not decided how she will spend the money. She chose the cash option, which means she will receive $173 million before taxes, or around $120 million after taxes.

The winning ticket was purchased at Gateway Newsstands in the Alliance Center building in Buckhead. Curry works in the building, which is across from Phipps Plaza, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The other winning ticket was purchased in San Jose, California. That winner hasn’t come forward yet.

A range of tickets bought across the country won $1 million, as well as smaller sums.

The jackpot started its ascent on Oct. 4. Twenty-two draws came and went without a winner, Mega Millions’ lead director Paula Otto said. She also said a billion worth of tickets were sold during the run, earning the places that offer Mega Millions — 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands — a total of $300 million.

The winning numbers were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7. The jackpot resets to $15 million for the next drawing, which is on Friday night.

The winners can choose to be paid over time or in a cash lump sum, Otto said.

Mega Millions changed its rules in October to help increase the jackpots by lowering the odds of winning the top prize. That means the chances of winning the jackpot are now about 1 in 259 million. It used to be about 1 in 176 million, nearly the same odds of winning a Powerball jackpot.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.