Ga. Woman Claims 1 Of 2 Winning Mega Millions Tickets
Updated 5:40 p.m. ET: Georgia Woman To Get $123 Million
A Georgia woman will split the $363 million jackpot in the Mega Millions drawing with an as yet unidentified winner in California.
Georgia lottery officials on Wednesday announced that Ira Curry of Stone Mountain, Ga., purchased one of two winning tickets in Tuesday's drawing, among the largest U.S. lottery jackpots ever.
Curry has chosen the cash option and will get an after-tax lump sum payment of $123 million, Georgia Lottery chief executive Debbie Alford said, the Associated Press reports.
Another winning ticket was sold at a San Jose, Calif., gift shop. The ticket owner has a year to come forward and claim the winnings, the AP says.
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If you know somebody in Atlanta or San Jose, Calif., this might be a good time to get in touch.
One was purchased at Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose. The other was bought at a Gateway Newstand in Atlanta, according to WXIA-TV.
The jackpot numbers: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7.
The size of the prize: Possibly as much as $645 million, which would be the second-most in U.S. history (behind a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot in March). Officials are still calculating. As of late Tuesday, the jackpot had been pegged at $636 million. But a surge in ticket sales likely pushed it even higher.
When the expected jackpot was $636 million, officials estimated that the "cash option" value (taking the prize in one lump sum, as most lucky folks elect to do) if only one winning ticket was sold would have been at least $341 million. Split that in two and each of the actual winning tickets would appear to be worth more than $170 million. Of course, taxes will need to be paid and the tickets may have been bought by groups of people, not individuals.
Thuy Nguyen, owner of the store in San Jose where one winner was sold, will be getting $1 million for selling the ticket. "I am so happy, I feel good," he tells the Mercury News.
What are the first things to do if you have one of the winners? Sign it, take a selfie with it, and put in a safe deposit box.
Oh, and if you don't have one of the two big winners, don't tear up your ticket just yet. According to Mega Millions officials, 20 tickets were "$1 million winners." Check your numbers.
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