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Georgia Mega Millions winning woman comes forward: Meet Ira Curry

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One day after she won a joint jackpot in the Mega Millions lottery, a Georgia woman has come forward to claim her new found wealth. Ira Curry of Stone Mountain has come forward as the Georgia winner sharing in a $648 million jackpot winners based upon a Dec. 18 NBC News report.

"I was in total disbelief," she told lottery officials. "It's unreal. It's like I'm still dreaming," the 56-year-old said.

And if you are wondering how she chose the numbers that would make her a millionaire several times over, then wonder no more, as she used family birthdays and her personal lucky number 7, according to Savannah Now.

Despite her willingness to come forward so quickly to claim her prize, she declined to participate in a press conference at this time about it. And her sisters, who still live in the Bronx where she and they grew up, are just as camera shy right now, according to the NY Daily News, who caught up with the two.

We're happy [for our sister], but look at where we live," said Brenda Baker, one of Curry's sisters who shares an apartment in public housing with Curry's other sister.

Our lives could be in jeopardy [after our sister won]," she said. But the two also feel that the astonishing win "Is happy, it's joyous, but we have to protect ourselves," so they are considering moving out of town.

Ugly news of her prior Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which was filed with her 74-year-old husband Talmer Curry in 1994, has already found its way to the media as well, as everyone searches for any information about the newest Georgia millionaire.

Curry could be one of those kinds of people who offers to repay taxpayers what was not paid for in her bankruptcy case, now that she will have a $123 million take home cut of her new winnings. But she just paid around $50 million in state and federal taxes as a result of her win (6 percent for Georgia tax and 25 percent for federal), so she might consider she's repaid society in full--and then some. And she would be right, of course.

Curry will split the proceeds with an unnamed man who bought his winning ticket in San Jose, California. Unfortunately for the retailer who sold the Stone Mountain woman her winning mega millions ticket, there will not be a $1 million payout to enjoy as the store that sold the winning ticket. Giving retailers a cash prize for selling the winning ticket does not happen in every state. The California retailer who sold the winning ticket to the San Jose man will receive $1 million, however. So maybe Curry will feel generous to the woman who sold her her winning ticket and do something for her.

Ira Curry's quick acknowledgement that she won the highly-anticipated lottery prize is unexpected, since she had a total of 180 days to come forward and claim it. And unless she already had a good relationship with an accountant or financial adviser, it might have been better for her to wait until she had spoken with someone about the large windfall. Her sisters certainly seem to think so, telling the NY Daily News that, "She only had time to call us this morning to let us know. We really haven't talked about it."

It seems Ira Curry only found out she won while on the road driving on Wednesday morning, which is why she had not come forward any earlier. And maybe that's the case for the California man too?

As a millionaire, she now joins the ranks of those who have also reached that status this year, including an Idaho woman and a Florida man who each won a million dollars from Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. But Curry's winnings of $324 million, approximately, dwarf the windfall received by those winners. Yet each is likely to have their lives changed drastically by their fortunate circumstances just the same.



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