Time is running out for the New Mexico Lottery player who may hold a Powerball second prize ticket worth $200,000.
The deadline for presenting the winning ticket is tomorrow (Friday), 90 days after the drawing. The Lottery's claim center closes at 4:30 pm.
An Albuquerque-area lottery retailer sold the ticket for the December 10, 2005, drawing. It is not known if the ticket purchaser lives in Albuquerque, elsewhere in New Mexico or another state.
Powerball players win $200,000 by matching the first white ball numbers drawn, in any order. Matching all five white ball numbers plus the red Powerball number wins the multi-million dollar jackpot.
The five winning white ball numbers for the December 10 drawing were 3-21-34-42-45. No one in the country matched all six numbers that night for an estimated $100 million Powerball jackpot.
For security purposes, the New Mexico Lottery, like lotteries in most other states, usually does not identify retailers that sell winning tickets until after the claims are verified and prizes awarded. But the Lottery confirmed that the winning ticket from the December 10 drawing was purchased in the Albuquerque area.
As part of the New Mexico Lottery's Retailer Compensation Plan, the retailer that sold the winning ticket is eligible for a $2,500 bonus for selling a $200,000 Powerball second prizewinner.
Unclaimed prizes are returned to the prize pool for future New Mexico Lottery games.
Since 1996 when the New Mexico began playing Powerball, the State has had almost 180 winners of the second prize; 161 players won $100,000, and an additional 17 players won $200,000 after the prize doubled in September 2005.
New Mexico has also had three Powerball jackpot-winning tickets, making 16 people millionaires. In November 2000, 14 Sandia National Laboratory security guards split a $131 million jackpot.
In February 2002, a Las Cruces municipal employee won a $32 million jackpot. And in August 2005, a master sergeant at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque won a $93.4 million jackpot. All of the jackpot winners chose the lump-sum cash option.
New Mexico is one of 30 lotteries that participate in the Powerball game.
Since the Lottery began almost ten years ago, more than $269.2 million has been raised for public education. Of that, over $202.7 million has been earmarked for the Lottery Success Scholarship program that has already provided in-state tuition assistance to almost 38,000 college students. Another $66.5 million previously went to the state's Public School Capital Outlay Fund for school construction and repairs for grades K-12 in 61 school districts.