Tags: georgia | lottery | winner | cnn

Georgia Lottery Winner CNN Goof Embarrasses Reporter (Video)

Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 08:12 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A CNN reporter made a major gaffe Wednesday when he told the Georgia store owner who sold one of the winning lottery tickets to Tuesday's $648 million Mega Millions jackpot that she, too, would become a millionaire.

Young Soo Lee, a 58-year-old Korean immigrant who came to the United States in 1980, owns the Gateway newsstand in Buckhead, Ga., just north of Atlanta, where one of the two winning Mega Millions tickets was sold.

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"Now you know by selling the winning ticket there's also prize money for you," CNN's Martin Savidge told Lee Wednesday.

"I know, but I don't know how much," she said. "Long time ago, I heard it's $25,000."
"Let me tell you, it's a lot more than $25,000," Savidge said. "It's about $1 million that you get."

"Really?" she gasped, clutching her chest. "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I never had so much money!"

One problem: Lee won't be receiving any money at all. According to NBC News, Georgia lottery rules don’t allow for any retailer payout. Retailers get only a flat 6 percent commission on the sales of the $1 tickets themselves, but no bonus for a winning ticket.

Some Georgia stores in the past have received a $25,000 bonus for selling winning lottery tickets, but the payout has been phased out and a state lottery official would not immediately address why, NBC News reported.

Lee later told NBC she was "a little mad" that she wouldn’t be getting any money.

The store owner who sold the winning ticket in California, however, is a different story. Thuy Nguyen, a 37-year-old Vietnamese man with three children who owns Jenny's Gift Shop in San Jose, Calif., will receive a $1 million bonus. A state lottery official said California lottery rules provide a retailer bonus of 0.5 percent of the prize, up to $1 million.

"I feel good! I feel good!" he told NBC Bay Area. "I'm a lucky person."

The Mega Millions jackpot was initially $636 million but ballooned to $648 million because of all the last-minute sales. The Georgia winner came forward Wednesday and was identified as Ira Curry, 56, of Stone Mountain, Ga.

Curry reportedly chose to receive a single payment, which amounted to about $120 million after federal and state taxes, according to Mega Millions officials.

The California winner has not yet been identified.

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