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First-time player is Big Game winner

Woman, 20, just 'shook and shook'

Erika Greene, 20, was one of three winners in the Big Game.
Erika Greene, 20, was one of three winners in the Big Game.  

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A young Georgia woman who is one of three winners of an estimated $331 million, multistate Big Game jackpot, feels "wonderful," and said Wednesday it was the first time she had played the lottery.

Georgia, Illinois and New Jersey vendors each sold a winning ticket for the Big Game, officials said Wednesday.

Erika Greene, 20, of Dacula, Georgia, was surrounded by reporters as she arrived at the Atlanta, Georgia, offices of the Georgia Lottery to have her ticket validated. She was accompanied by her boyfriend and family members.

"I just shook and shook" after learning Tuesday night that she had the winning numbers, Greene said. "Actually, I was kind of stunned. I didn't have anything to say."

"I called my boyfriend first and then called Dad," she said. "Both didn't believe me. My mom called everyone else."

CNN talks with a new multimillionaire, Erika Greene, 20, from Dacula, Georgia, who was one of three people to hold a winning Big Game lottery ticket (April 17)

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CNN's Sean Callebs joins the lines in Augusta, Georgia, for a ticket in the Big Game lottery jackpot (April 15)

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CNN/Money: Long odds, big money 
CNN Access: It only takes one ticket to win 
Big Game lottery states 

She said she slept only about 30 minutes overnight. "I couldn't sleep, I couldn't dream, I couldn't do anything. I have no idea what I'm going to do," she said. Greene said she works for a pay phone and cellular phone company.

"I've studied up on statistics and I am going to have someone handle the money for me," Greene said. "I'll make my money work for me instead of blowing it all."

Greene said she planned to buy a car immediately. On Wednesday afternoon Greene was seen riding in a limousine with friends and family members near the store where she bought the winning ticket .

She bought 10 lottery tickets Tuesday -- the first time she had ever bought any -- at the Rans Texaco Station in Dacula, about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta.

The winning ticket was purchased using the "quick-pick, cash option," meaning the store's computer picked the numbers and the winner receives a reduced amount of money in a lump sum.

Greene stands to receive $58.9 million before taxes, lottery officials said.

Another winning ticket was sold in Union County, New Jersey, near Newark, said New Jersey state lottery official Linda Melone. The third winning ticket was sold in the Chicago, Illinois, suburb of Bridgeview, said Illinois State Lottery spokesman Max Montgomery.

The drawing took place at 11 p.m. Tuesday in Atlanta. The winning numbers are 7, 10, 25, 26 and 27, with 23 drawn as the "big money" ball. The odds of winning any Big Game jackpot are 76 million to one. Winners have 180 days to claim their share of the prize, Georgia Lottery president Rebecca Paul said.

Greene returned to the Texaco station Wednesday morning with her mother, station owner Amir Jooma said.

"When she walked in, she was very calm and she bought a pack of cigarettes, and she paid for it, and the clerk said somebody won the lottery, and she said, 'Yes, that was me,'" Jooma said. "They were in a pretty good mood."

"It's really exciting for us guys to sell the winning ticket," the owner said. His station will receive $25,000 as a result.

Jooma said the station sold close to $5,000 worth of tickets Tuesday, with one man buying $200 worth. It's the first time the station has sold a winning ticket.

The winning ticket sold in Bridgeview, Illinois, was purchased Tuesday at a Speedway gas station. No one has claimed that ticket, a spokeswoman for the Illinois State Lottery said. It also was a "quick-pick, cash option" ticket.

The Big Game is played in seven states: Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia. New York and Ohio are set to join in May, when the lottery will be rechristened Mega Millions. Washington state will join in September.

After no one won the the Big Game jackpot on Friday -- the 18th drawing in a row that didn't produce a winner -- the prize money was rolled over to Tuesday's drawing, sparking increased sales that pushed the estimated jackpot to $331 million. The only larger U.S. lottery jackpot was a $363 million bonanza in May 2000, also in the Big Game.


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