January 14, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE – Diana Chavez of Santa Rosa has nearly half a million reasons to believe it’s going to be a happy new year.
Chavez claimed a $462,000 prize at the New Mexico Lottery Tuesday after her quick pick ticket for Monday’s Roadrunner Cash drawing matched the winning numbers of 12, 18, 19, 29 and 30. She hit the game’s second-largest jackpot following a record $687,000 won in November 2006.
Chavez discovered her good fortune after clerks at Bob’s Phillips 66 checked her ticket for prizes. They said the payout was so big she would have to claim it at lottery headquarters, proving it with a receipt after the winner accused them of teasing her.
“I started crying,” Chavez recalled for lottery officials in Albuquerque.
Her emotional outburst brought other shoppers running, including one who asked to hug her.
“This is such a blessing and we’re so grateful,” Chavez said. “We’ll be able to pay bills and help our family.”
Chavez buys all her lottery tickets at Bob’s Phillips 66 located at 108 Coronado Ave. in Santa Rosa. A lottery retailer since 1996, Bob’s Phillips 66 has sold 17 other large prize-winning lottery tickets ranging between $1,000 and $195,000. Having sold a winning Roadrunner Cash ticket of more than $100,000, the store is now eligible for a $1,000 lottery bonus.
Lottery Beneficiaries from Guadalupe County
Since its inception in 1996, the lottery has raised $420 million for public education in New Mexico and more than 61,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships. As of the Spring 2009 semester, 150 high school graduates from Guadalupe County have received $643,000 in Legislative Lottery Scholarships.