ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With only two hours to spare, an Albuquerque teacher claimed a $10,000 Powerball prize scheduled to expire today at 4:30 p.m.
Chris Daskalos, a social studies teacher at the Albuquerque Talent Development Secondary Charter School, arrived at the New Mexico Lottery headquarters at 2:30 p.m. after clerks at the Chevron Redi-Mart No. 90 confirmed his ticket as a winner from the Sept. 16 Powerball drawing.
"They said 'Hurry, hurry, you only have two hours,'" Daskalos recalled. "It was a squeaker."
After seeing an evening news item about a soon-to-expire Powerball ticket last week, Daskalos retrieved a stack of wagers from their "lucky place" on top of his television set next to a picture of his parents. He wasn't able to confirm the ticket as the winner until today.
Daskalos, also a single parent and full-time student pursuing an advanced degree in education, said he vaguely remembered buying the ticket three months ago and forgot to check for prizes. Prizes for all New Mexico Lottery drawing games must be claimed with 90 calendar days of the draw or they expire.
"But someone up there," he said.
Daskalos' quick pick ticket matched the red Powerball number of 25 and four white ball numbers of 17, 37, 40 and 56. If he had matched the fifth white ball number of 51, Daskalos would have won the game's jackpot of $95 million.
After receiving his down-to-the-wire prize, Daskalos received wise advice from 14-year-old daughter Iliana.
"She told me to take it to the bank and save it," he said.
Daskalos purchased his lucky ticket at the Chevron Redi-Mart No. 90 located at 12504 Central Ave. SW in Albuquerque. This lottery retailer has sold 11 other large-prizing winning lottery tickets ranging between $1,000 and $100,000.
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