Ga. officials: Lotto winner comes forward - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Ga. officials: Lotto winner comes forward

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ATLANTA (AP) -- A Georgia woman who bought just one ticket and used family birthdays and lucky No. 7 to choose her numbers was one of two winners of the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest in U.S. history.

Lottery officials in Georgia identified the winner as Ira Curry, of Stone Mountain, which is east of Atlanta. Curry will take a lump sum of $123 million after taxes, Georgia Lottery chief executive Debbie Alford said.

"She has not decided how she'll spend those winnings," Alford said at a news conference Curry did not attend.

The other winning ticket was sold at a gift shop in San Jose, Calif.

Curry was driving to work Wednesday when an announcer on the radio talked about the mega ball being No. 7. Curry knew that was her mega ball number, so she called her daughter to check the numbers.

"Between joyful tears and laughter on the daughter's part, she relayed to her mother that her mother had won the lottery," Alford said.

Alford wouldn't say where Curry worked or how old she was. A person who answered the phone at a phone listing for Curry said, "We are not interested in any publicity, thank you for calling" and then hung up.

The winning ticket in Georgia was sold at a newsstand in Buckhead, a financial center of Atlanta about 10 miles from Stone Mountain. The ticket was sold in the Alliance Center, which is home to a variety of offices, including lawyers, financial services professionals and even the Brazilian Consulate General.

Young Soo Lee owns the store with her husband, Young Lee. She grinned as she arrived Wednesday morning at the shop just off of the lobby. The newsstand is a small, narrow shop with one register and it can hold perhaps 10 people at a time.

"I'm so excited and so happy now," Young Soo Lee said. "I love my store and the customer."

Earlier media reports indicated the couple would receive a bonus for selling a winning ticket, but Georgia Lottery spokeswoman Tandi Reddick clarified that's not the case.

"They do have the distinction of being known as the lucky store now, and that's always great news for them," Reddick said.

The California store owner - Thuy Nguyen of Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose - will get $1 million, lottery officials there said.

Nguyen told KNTV he doesn't know who the bought the winning ticket at his store, which sits along San Jose's tree-lined Tully Road, amid a cluster of Asian restaurants. But it's likely someone he knows because most of his customers are his friends.

"I feel good! I don't even know, I can't sleep," Nguyen told the station.

The winning numbers were 8, 14, 17, 20, 39 and Mega Ball 7.

The jackpot started its ascent Oct. 4. Twenty-two draws came and went without winners.

Some $336 million in tickets were sold for Tuesday's drawing.

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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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lottery officials say winning ticket tickets have been sold in California and Georgia for the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

The winning numbers were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7.

Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery's executive director and the lead director of Mega Millions, said that $336 million in tickets were sold for Tuesday drawing - they had projected $319 million.

California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said Tuesday night that one ticket was sold at Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose, Calif.

Otto didn't know yet where in Georgia the ticket had been sold.

The jackpot resets to $15 million for the next drawing, which is on Friday night.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - At least one winning ticket was sold in California for Tuesday night's $636 million Mega Millions jackpot, which was the second largest in U.S. lottery history.

There may be other winners. Mega Millions lead director Paula Otto said Tuesday night that game officials' count was not complete yet.

California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso told the Associated Press on Tuesday night that the ticket was sold at Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose, Calif.

"For us, the main thing we'd like to get across is the level of excitement we saw all across California," Traverso said. "At one point, we were selling about 25,000 tickets per minute.

"It's been an amazing experience. It's unbelievable."

The winning numbers were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7. The cash option is estimated at $341 million before taxes.

The jackpot now resets to $15 million for the next drawing, which is on Friday night.

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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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The numbers for the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot were drawn Tuesday night. Now, the country waits to see if there's a winner of the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

The winning numbers were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7. The cash option is estimated at $341 million, before taxes.

The jackpot now trails only a $656 million Mega Millions pot that was sold in March 2012.

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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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The winning numbers in Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing are 8, 14, 17, 20, 39 and the Mega Ball is 7.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Mega Millions jackpot soared to an estimated $636 million on Tuesday, making it the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

The top prize had been estimated at $586 million, but lottery officials increased their prediction Tuesday morning because of strong ticket sales. The jackpot now trails only a $656 million Mega Millions pot that was sold in March 2012.

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.

But that hasn't stopped aspiring multimillionaires from playing the game.

"Oh I think there's absolutely no way I am going to win this lottery," said Tanya Joosten, 39, an educator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who bought several tickets on Tuesday. "But it's hard for such a small amount of money to not take the chance."

Annie Pedersen also said she wanted to be part of the action, so she jumped in and bought two tickets at a Milwaukee grocery.

"Everybody is so excited about it so I wanted to get in on some of the excitement, too, by watching," she said.

Tickets are selling at a pace that surpassed even the lottery's expectations.

"We estimate by drawing time we'll be about $75 million ahead in sales," said Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and lead director for Mega Millions.

Otto said officials expect about 70 percent of the possible number combinations to be purchased for Tuesday night's drawing. She also noted that if a winner isn't selected either Tuesday night or for Friday's drawing, the jackpot could hit $1 billion - an unheard of amount for Mega Millions or Powerball, the nation's two main lottery games.

The drawing is scheduled for 11 p.m. EST. The cash option is estimated at $341 million, before taxes.

The previous odds of winning Mega Millions' top prize were roughly 1 in 176 million, nearly the same as Powerball, which also has seen a surge in large jackpots since its rules were revamped in January 2012.

Mega Millions is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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