One winning Mega Millions ticket remains unclaimed

California Lottery officials are waiting for the second winner of the $648 million jackpot. A winning ticket was bought in San Jose. A woman who purchased the other winning ticket, in Atlanta, has claimed her prize. (Associated Press)

Written by Max Ehrenfreund

The holder of a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket purchased in San Jose still has not yet claimed half of a $648 million jackpot that was the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. The winning numbers were 8, 14, 17, 20, and 39, and the Mega Ball was 7.

Ira Curry of Stone Mountain, Ga., bought the other winning ticket and identified herself to lottery officials Wednesday. Persons contacted at her house told the Associated Press that she did not want publicity, but her neighbors were happy to hear she had won:

Neighbor Kaliah Ladler, 18, said the Curry family was humble.

“Some people get big headed but I don’t think they’ll get big headed. They will probably use it for good,” she said.

Francis Boudreaux, who lives across the street from the Currys, said he was happy for the family but sad because they will probably move now.

“I think they will start doing a whole lot of traveling,” he said. Associated Press

Curry took the numbers on her ticket from the birthdays of members of her family and chose 7, her family’s lucky number, as the Mega Ball. She bought it from a newsstand in Atlanta’s Buckhead financial district.

Meanwhile, California Lottery officials were still waiting for the buyer of the other winning ticket to come forward. The ticket was purchased at Jennifer’s Gift Shop in San Jose. California’s lottery rules provide that the shop’s owner, Thuy Nguyen, will receive $1 million for selling the ticket. The 37-year-old immigrant from Vietnam told reporters that he would use the money to buy a house for his family, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Following a rule change in October to lower the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot, no one could claim the lottery’s top prize in 22 drawings. The jackpot was only just short of the record, a $656 million jackpot awarded by Mega Millions last year.

 
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