ATLANTA – It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Ira Curry. The Stone Mountain woman purchased one of two winning jackpot tickets in Tuesday’s $648 million Mega Millions drawing

She claimed her prize Wednesday morning at Georgia Lottery headquarters. “It’s unreal,” said Curry, 56. “It’s like I’m still dreaming.”

Curry purchased her lucky ticket at Gateway Newstand, 3500 Lenox Road, Atlanta. A second jackpot ticket was sold in California

Curry selected the cash option, which amounts to $173,819,742.50 before taxes for each jackpot winner. Georgia state income tax of 6 percent

After final game sales were calculated, the jackpot increased from an advertised $636 million to $648 million

Curry was driving Tuesday morning when she heard the retailer location and one of the winning numbers on the radio. She asked her daughter to check her ticket and was stunned

Many other Georgia Lottery players around the state won big in Tuesday’s drawing. Two $1 million tickets were sold in Columbus and Winder

Three $20,000 tickets were sold in Cave Spring, Decatur and Marietta. There were 26 $5,000 winners, 18 $2,000 winners, and more than 929,000 winners at other prize levels

Georgia students were also big winners. The Mega Millions roll, which began Oct. 4, yielded approximately $17.3 million for the Georgia Lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship and Pre-K programs