Ira Curry purchased the ticket Friday at an Atlanta newsstand and
claimed her prize at the state's lottery headquarters on Wednesday,
choosing to receive a lump-sum cash payment of $173.8 million after
taxes, lottery officials said.
She otherwise could have opted for a larger annuity sum that would
have been paid over 30 years.
"It's unreal," Curry, who lives in the Atlanta suburb of Stone
Mountain, was quoted by lottery officials as saying in a press
release. "It's like I'm still dreaming."
Curry told lottery officials she has not decided how she and her
family will spend her winnings, said Debbie Alford, president and
chief executive officer of the Georgia Lottery Corp.
Georgia income tax of 6 percent and federal income tax of 25 percent
are withheld from state lottery prizes of more than $5,000.
Lottery officials said they have yet to identify the purchaser, or
group of purchasers, of a second winning ticket sold at a gift shop
in San Jose, California.
The jackpot was the second largest in U.S. lottery history, just
short of the record U.S. jackpot of $656 million won in a March 2012
Mega Millions drawing.
Young Soo Lee, who owns a Gateway Newsstand, said she was thrilled
to learn from local television news that someone had purchased a
winning ticket at her store.
"I'm so happy," said Lee, who came to the United States from Korea
in 1980 and bought the newsstand nine years ago.
Lee said even her customers who did not win were sharing in the
"Everybody is a hug, a hug, a hug," she said.
The other winning ticket was sold at a retail location called
Jennifer's Gift Shop on Tully Road in San Jose, according to Alex
Traverso, a California lottery official.
official Cathy Johnston said the shop was owned by Thuy Nguyen, who,
according to the San Jose Mercury News, took over the business four
[to top of second column]
Under California's lottery rules, Nguyen will receive a $1 million
cash bonus for selling a winning ticket. Georgia lottery retailers
earn a flat 6 percent commission based on sales but receive no
bonuses for winning tickets sold at their location.
The winning numbers for Tuesday's drawing were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39
Georgia's jackpot winner told lottery officials she chose her
numbers based on a combination of family birthdays and her family's
lucky number, 7, a lottery spokeswoman said.
When she heard the retail location of where the winning ticket in
Atlanta was sold and one of the winning numbers on the radio while
driving, she stopped to call her daughter to check the numbers and
discovered she had won, lottery officials said.
Curry, who is married, has asked lottery officials not to disclose
further information about her or her family for now. She said she is
not planning to address the media directly.
As many as 70 percent of Mega Millions tickets are typically bought
on the day of the drawing, said Paula Otto, Virginia's lottery
director and lead director of the multi-state Mega Millions game.
Ticket buying reached a fever pitch over the weekend, with 20
percent more chances sold than expected, Otto said.
(Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles;
Steve Gorman and Colleen Jenkins; editing by Gunna Dickson and Lisa
[© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2013 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.