ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico Lottery player from Elida — a village in eastern New Mexico with a population of 183 people — beat the odds of 1 in nearly 11 million to win a Hot Lotto jackpot of $1.1 million.
Aurbra King, 71, had the nation's only ticket matching the winning numbers of 5, 17, 23, 29, 39 and a Hot Ball of 15 from Wednesday's drawing.
King discovered his prize nearly 48 hours after the drawing when his children told him that a Friday morning TV newscast had announced that the New Mexico Lottery was looking for a jackpot winner.
King, who said, "Things like this, they don't get me too excited," elected to take the prize's pre-tax cash option of approximately $720,000, which he plans to share with a large family that includes 19 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Playing the same six numbers he had been playing for several months, King purchased his lucky ticket at Allsup's Store No. 287 in Elida. The Allsup's chain is eligible for a $10,000 bonus for selling the prize-winning ticket.
"Today, Elida is the luckiest place in New Mexico," said Lottery CEO Tom Romero. "I congratulate Mr. King on his extraordinary win and thank him and all our players for supporting lottery games and the Legislative Lottery Scholarship program."
Since its inception in 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised nearly $413 million for public education and more than 61,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships, including 50 students from Elida, three of whom have gone on to earn master's degrees.
This is the New Mexico Lottery's third Hot Lotto jackpot since joining the game in November 2006. Edward Boyd of Farmington won $1 million in August 2007 and David C. Fort of Albuquerque won $5.6 million in February 2008.
Nicknamed "Little Powerball," Hot Lotto is played in 15 U.S. lotteries. Jackpots begin at $1 million and increase by a minimum of $50,000 per drawing until someone wins. In addition to the jackpot, there are eight ways to win.
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