Marguerite Padilla of Farmington wanted to rush to New Mexico Lottery headquarters three hours away in Albuquerque to claim a $200,000 prize. But her husband had other ideas.
Timothy Padilla wanted to go elk hunting first.
"Not even a winning Powerball ticket could stop an elk hunting trip," he told lottery officials when the couple claimed the prize Wednesday. "We had just enough time to do both things."
Lottery officials warned last week that the $200,000 prize from the Aug. 15 drawing was due to expire Nov. 13. Prizes for lotto-style games expire if not claimed within 90 days.
Timothy Padilla, 37, said he always buys a ticket for Powerball drawings and leaves it on the kitchen counter.
"Then I never check the tickets," he said.
But his wife, reading a newspaper article Friday about the unclaimed ticket, grabbed the stack of old tickets and went through them. Then she called him at UPS, where he's a manager.
"I said, 'Come home now. You won the lottery,'" Marguerite Padilla said.
When he got home, they debated what to do — and decided to keep their weekend plans.
The ticket matched five numbers. Had it also picked the Aug. 15 Powerball number, it would have been worth $183.7 million, lottery officials said.
Revenue from lottery sales go to tuition scholarships for New Mexico students who attend colleges and universities in the state.