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Mega Millions winner - Ira Curry

A 56-year-old Georgia resident was one of two Mega Millions winning lottery players for the $648 million Mega Millions draw on December 17th 2013.

The Stone Mountain resident headed straight for the lottery headquarters in Atlanta to claim her Georgia Mega Millions jackpot prize, in stark contrast to her co-winner Steve Tran who had no idea for nearly a month that he had won the big prize.

A Lucky Winner with a Kind Heart

Like many who have come into good fortune, Ira Curry and her family were keeping a low profile following their Mega Millions lottery win in December. As expected, media attention was high for this good news story and residents of her neighbourhood in Stone Mountain in the suburbs of Atlanta were quick to praise her kind nature and wish her well with her win.

Many of her neighbours told of a family who were quick to help others and deserved all the luck they got. But it wasn’t always so for the Georgia woman who originally hailed from far humbler beginnings.

Ira Curry, who is originally from the Bronx, was said to be in a state of shock following her Georgia Mega Millions jackpot win and was reported to be taking home around $120 million after taxes when she elected to collect the lump sum. News outlets also reported that her sisters, who had lived in the same flat in the Bronx for the past 40 years, had already left and were similarly keeping a low profile as the media tried to find out more about everyone involved in the family.

There was no sign of Ira at her Stone Mountain residence either, when reporters set out to find out more, and attention quickly turned to her co-winner for the Mega Lottery draw. That turned out to be delivery driver Steve Tran who had purchased his ticket in San Jose.

How it happened for Ira

Curry was driving to work when she heard that the Mega Ball number was seven and stopped to ask her daughter to check the numbers. Her choices of numbers for the draw were 8, 14, 17, 20, and 39 and were a combination of family birthdays as well as the family’s lucky number 7. The ticket containing the Mega Millions winning numbers was purchased in Atlanta at a newsstand by Buckhead Financial Centre.

The December 17th draw offered the second highest win in history following 22 previous draws that had not yielded a jackpot. Lottery officials in Atlanta said that $336 million was spent on tickets for that particular Mega Millions lottery draw.

According to web research, Ira Curry is Vice President of Aspen Re, a reinsurance firm in Atlanta which is in stark contrast to her co-winner Steve Tran who was a simply delivery driver, until he left his job after discovering his Mega Millions lottery windfall.

Ira hailed from a poor background though and had worked hard to make a life for herself. Her sisters were concerned that this new found Mega Millions jackpot wealth would bring many problems and even threaten their lives. They moved out of their Bronx flat almost immediately and Ira refused to attend a press conference following the win, trying to keep a very low profile.

It’s a familiar story for lottery winners who bag the big jackpot, especially after the experiences of previous winners who have suddenly gone from rags to riches and attract so much media attention. The money can often buy them happiness and a comfortable life, and for the likes of Ira and her sisters it can also buy a certain amount of anonymity.