ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A retired couple from Ruidoso, New Mexico, and their two daughters from Austin, Texas claimed a $3.54 million Hot Lotto jackpot Monday.
The winners are Bill and Janet Swann and daughters Lisa Swann and Stacey Swann. They elected to take the prize in a cash payment of $2.24 million rather than the annuity option of 30 payments over 29 years.
Bill Swann purchased five tickets about eight hours before the Jan. 16 drawing. He went to bed a winner, but didn't know it until the next day when he checked the winning numbers. One of the five wagers matched the winning numbers 12, 13, 17, 26, 28 and the Hot Ball of 12.
"I said to myself, "Well, looky here,'" he said.
The Swanns immediately called their daughters, who never doubted that their father was telling the truth.
"He's not a practical joker," said Stacey Swann.
"He's crazy lucky," added Lisa Swann.
With their newfound wealth, the family plans to take some exotic fishing and hunting trips. The Swann daughters will put some of the prize aside for retirement.
Bill Swann purchased the lucky ticket at Club Gas at 1137 Mechem Dr. in Ruidoso. The store is eligible for a $10,000 bonus for selling the prize-winning ticket.
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. The odds of winning a Hot Lotto jackpot are 1 in nearly 11 million. In addition to the jackpot, there are eight ways to win.
The Swanns' jackpot win is the New Mexico Lottery's second in two months. In November, Elida resident Aurbra King won a $1.1 million Hot Lotto jackpot playing his favorite six numbers. Four players have hit Hot Lotto jackpots since the game's introduction in New Mexico in 2006.
"The Hot Lotto game has been a winner for New Mexicans whether they're players or students attending college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships," said Lottery CEO Tom Romero. "I congratulate the Swanns on their very good fortune and thank them for their support of lottery games. Our players help make college a reality for New Mexico's students."
Since its inception in 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised $420 million for public education and more than 61,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships.
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