The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

December 19, 2013

Ga. woman claims 1 of 2 winning lottery tickets

ATLANTA (AP) — On her way to work, Ira Curry heard on the radio that one of the winning lottery ticket numbers was her family's lucky No. 7. She called home, her daughter checked the ticket and in an instant, Curry was a multi-millionaire.

Curry came forward Wednesday to collect half of the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot, the second largest in U.S. history. She'll take the lump sum of about $120 million after taxes, which will be given to her in about a week or two. The other winning ticket was sold in San Jose, Calif. The winner there has one year to come forward.

Curry, her husband and other family members came to the lottery headquarters in Atlanta to claim the prize, surprising officials who thought the winner may take some time to get their affairs in order.

"She said she was just in a state of disbelief," Georgia Lottery chief executive Debbie Alford said.

It wasn't clear whether she ever made it to work Wednesday. Alford said Curry bought just one ticket and chose the numbers based on relatives' birthdays and the lucky 7.

Curry, of Stone Mountain, lives in a neighborhood of brick and stucco houses with manicured lawns about 10 miles east of Atlanta. She lives in a two-story home with a two-car garage and a basketball goal in the driveway.

Other than that, not much is yet known about her. A Facebook page that appeared to be hers was taken down soon after her name was announced, and lottery officials would not say where she worked or give out any more information.

She didn't attend the news conference and someone who answered the phone at her home said the family didn't want any publicity and hung up. A man who answered the door said the same thing.

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