Belen Man Wins $50,000 New Mexico Lottery Prize


ALBUQUERQUE – “It’s cool.”

As a welder and metals sculptor, Max Coffey tends to feel a little overheated, but after winning $50,000, the Belen resident experienced one of his coolest days ever.

Coffey won one of four $50,000 prizes in the New Mexico Lottery’s “10X the Money” Scratcher. He bought the lucky $5 ticket yesterday while shopping for cold soda to help him stay hydrated during a long day of welding. Coffey played the lucky ticket in his truck.

“I went catatonic,” he recalled for lottery officials Wednesday just a few hours after buying the ticket. “I went back to my shop, sat on a stool and then I thought I better call my wife.”

Max Coffey

Above: Max Coffey, winner of $50,000 prize

Coffey’s wife, Kim, and friend Natalie Bustillos told him to sign the ticket, cancel a parts delivery and meet them so that they could drive together to the lottery’s Albuquerque headquarters.

“We’re his bodyguards,” Bustillos joked.

When asked how he planned to spend his five-figure prize, Coffey shouted “pay bills,” while the two women shouted “cruise.”

Coffey, who won a $1,000 Scratcher prize in 2006, bought his lucky ticket at Roadrunner Pit Stop and Coyote Liquor located at 51 I25 Bypass Road in Belen. Previously, the store has sold three large prize-winning lottery tickets paying between $1,000 and $10,000.

Legislative Lottery College Scholarships

Since 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised $525.8 million for education and more than 75,300 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships.

As of the Spring 2011 semester, more than 3,200 students from Valencia County have received $14.5 million in Legislative Lottery Scholarships.

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