$120 Million Lotto Winner Knows What It's Like to Struggle

Lisa Fogarty Love It!

It's wonderful to hear news of anyone who has unexpectedly won enough money to significantly change his or her life. But it's especially sweet to find out that the latest big lotto winner comes from an underprivileged community and is now in the unique position to help out her family members. Ira Curry just came forward as one of two winners to score a portion of the $648 Mega Millions jackpot. The lucky woman, who will clear about $120 million when all is said and done, lives in Georgia but grew up in a disadvantaged section of the Bronx in New York City.

Curry says she was "stunned" when she found out she won the jackpot. The 56-year-old heard on the radio that one of the winning numbers was "7," which she had sweetly played because it was her family's "lucky number." She then called her daughter and had her read out the rest of the winning numbers, which included various family birthdays. I always poke fun at my dad for playing our birthdays and swear to him that no one ever wins by being sentimental, so I'll just eat my words right now.

Curry's sisters still live in the housing project where she grew up with a single mom. In their words, their sister is a sweet woman who totally deserves the earnings, though they are currently making plans to flee their home because they fear for their own security. No word yet on whether they'll move down south to be with Curry, and I know she doesn't owe anyone anything, but I can't help but hope she'll help set them up in a better position. 

Although she lives in a pretty Georgia suburb now, works at an insurance company, and is referred to as a "Southern belle" by her siblings, the winner and her husband reportedly filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy about 20 years ago. It's awesome to think that someone who went through rough financial times will have the opportunity to live comfortably and provide for her family as she nears retirement age. 

What would you do with $120 million? 


Image via Dustin Moore/Flickr

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economy, in the news, lottery