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A Georgia woman identified as Ira Curry 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 reports.
The jackpot, set at $636 million at the time the winning numbers were picked, was going to grow and was likely to wind up closer to $648 million, according to Alex Traverso, a spokesperson for the California Lottery.
Both $636 million and $648 million would be the second largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history. The largest was $656 million.
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.
Curry, who wants her privacy, used a combination of family birthdays.
“She told us that she bought one ticket and it was a last-minute purchase,” Alford said.
The winning numbers from Tuesday night’s drawing were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7.
The $636 million jackpot grew from a modest $12 million prize in October. Twenty-one winless drawings later, it became the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, according to lottery officials. The record jackpot was a $656 million Mega Millions prize in March 2012.
Last October, Mega Millions changed its rules to increase the jackpot by lowering the odds of winning. The chance of winning the jackpot is now about 1 in 259 million. Before the rules changed, the odds were 1 in 176 million.
Mega Millions revamped its game after Powerball ticket prices doubled from $1 to $2 in January 2012, accounting for the swelling jackpots and tons of media attention.
Mega Millions is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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