ALBUQUERQUE – James Larson of Albuquerque claimed a $1 million Powerball prize from the New Mexico Lottery today.
At odds of 1 in 5.2 million, Larson’s quick-pick ticket for Saturday’s drawing matched the white ball numbers of 14, 15, 16, 19 and 24. He missed the red Powerball of 2 for the night’s jackpot of $111.4 million.
“After hearing that the jackpot hadn’t been hit, I didn’t even think to check my ticket,” Larson said.
That all changed on Tuesday after he read about an unclaimed $1 million Powerball prize in the Albuquerque Journal. Larson retrieved the ticket from his wallet and checked it against the winning numbers posted at the lottery’s website. After he called the lottery to make an appointment to claim the prize, he contacted a financial planner.
“We’ve already made commitments for every last penny,” Larson said.
His plans include retiring a mortgage, making home improvements, paying off his children’s student loans and donating to favorite charities.
Larson purchased his lucky ticket at Giant Station No. 27 located at 6104 Academy Road NE in Albuquerque. Previously, the store has sold 11 large prize-winning lottery tickets ranging between $1,000 and $24,000. For selling Larson’s $1 million-winning ticket, the store is eligible for a $2,500 New Mexico Lottery bonus.
This is New Mexico’s third $1 million-winning Powerball ticket since the game re-launched three months ago with a $2 ticket price and larger prizes. Previously, the prize for matching five white balls was $200,000.
The first $1 million prize was won in January by Larry and Cynthia Martinez of Blanco.
The second $1 million prize from the game’s March 31 drawing has not been claimed. The ticket holder has 90 days from the date of the drawing to claim the prize. The ticket matched the white ball numbers of 5, 14, 36, 54 and 58. Information about where the ticket was sold will not be released until the winner comes forward.
On Monday, Robert Platt of Albuquerque claimed a $1.54 million Hot Lotto jackpot from Saturday’s drawing. Platt elected to take the jackpot’s pre-tax cash option of $1.15 million.
Legislative Lottery Scholarships
The sale of New Mexico Lottery games funds a college tuition assistance program. Since 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised more than $514 million for public education and more than 75,300 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships.