Christina Ford, a retiree from Dallas, Ga., who had been declared the "missing millionaire" by Georgia Lottery officials, came forward on Oct. 25 to claim the $7.5 million Mega Millions jackpot she won earlier this summer.
Ford is one of two winners to split $15 million jackpot drawn on July 22. The other winner purchased a ticket in Virginia.
“I thought it was a dream,” said Ford in a statement. “I kept saying, ‘Yeah, right. This can’t be true.’ ”
Ford played Mega Millions using the Quik Pik option and couldn't believe it when she saw the winning numbers drawn on television. She spent three months planning before coming forward to claim the money.
Last week, the Georgia Lottery issued a press release noting that the winner had not come forward to claim the prize. If a winner does not claim the winnings after 180 days, the money goes to the Georgia Lottery’s returns to help fund the HOPE and Pre-K Programs.
Ford, 64, claimed her prize at Georgia Lottery headquarters Tuesday. She said she plans to use her winnings to vacation and share with her family.