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Georgia Mega Millions winner used family birth dates for her picks

Ira Curry of Stone Mountain, Ga., is one of two winners of the $648-million Mega Millions jackpot and used a combination of family birth dates and the number 7 for her last-minute ticket purchase, Georgia lottery officials said Wednesday. 

Curry, who did not attend an Atlanta news conference, opted for the cash option, which, after state and federal taxes, will total about $120 million, said Debbie Alford, president and chief executive of the Georgia Lottery.

Curry bought the ticket Friday afternoon at a Gateway Newsstand at the Alliance Center building in Buckhead, Alford said.

The family was "very, very excited about the win,” Alford said. 

Though Alford did not offer details about Curry, “to be respectful of her privacy," she said she chose the jackpot numbers based on a combination of family birthdays and their lucky number, 7. 

Curry was driving to work this morning when she heard a radio announcer report the Megaball number as 7. She remembered she had put 7 as the Megaball number and called her daughter to check the winning Mega Millions numbers.

Her daughter looked up the numbers and sure enough, Curry had won.

“She was holding on to the winning one and she didn’t know it,” Alford said. 

Curry has not yet decided how she will spend her winnings. But Alford said Georgia Lottery officials are processing the claim. It will take a couple of weeks to complete the transfer, she said.

Gateway Newsstand owner Youngsoo Lee told Atlanta’s Fox 5 News that she sold about 1,300 tickets at the store the day of the drawing.

The other winning ticket was sold in San Jose, Calif. That winner had not come forward as of Wednesday afternoon.

The winning numbers for Tuesday's drawing were 8, 14, 17, 20 and 39, with the Megaball of 7.

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Twitter: @saba_h

saba.hamedy@latimes.com

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