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US$636-million jackpot, second-biggest in US lottery history
Last Updated: 2013-12-19 10:44 | CE.cn
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By Li Hongmei

Who needs Santa Claus when you hold one of two winning tickets announced in the $636 million Mega Millions lottery in the US? The life-changing stubs for the second richest pot in American lottery history were sold in San Jose, California at a gift shop and at a newsstand in Atlanta, Georgia, CBS news reported, quoting lottery officials after the Tuesday night draw.

The jackpot will be split. The names of the winners were not announced. However, one of two Mega Millions winners came forward Wednesday to claim her share of the $636 million jackpot, the second-biggest in US lottery history.

Ira Curry popped into the Georgia state's lottery headquarters holding her ticket with the lucky numbers eight, 14, 17, 20, 39 and Mega Ball seven.

"It's unreal. It's like I'm still dreaming," Curry, who lives in an Atlanta suburb, said in a statement issued by the Georgia Lottery. The jackpot was $20 million shy of the record $656 million that was shared by three Mega Millions ticket holders in March 2012.

A state lottery official said Curry had used the birth dates of family members as the basis for selecting her winning numbers.

In lieu of an annuity, Curry opted for a single cash payout from the jackpot she'll share with a California ticket holder who has yet to come forward.

Mega Millions is sold in 43 of the 50 US states. New rules went into effect in October that lowered the odds of winning to one in 259 million, but kept the price of tickets at one dollar each.Winners in this sweepstake can opt between a one time lump sum payment or one smaller payment followed by others over the course of 29 years. Had there been a single winner in Tuesday's draw the one time cash option was estimated at $341 million - before taxes. The jackpot reached its dizzying sum after frantic Americans in 43 participating states spent days snapping up $1 tickets.

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