New Mexico Lottery Scratcher Focuses on Residents’ Photos of State Landmarks


‘Super Tuesday’ Launches Six Games

ALBUQUERQUE – Photos of state landmarks taken by a truck driver, a retired nurse, a man who walks his dog and three other New Mexico residents look picture-perfect on the

New Mexico Lottery’s “I Love New Mexico” Scratcher. The game will be available in stores on Tuesday.

The photos featured on the game’s six tickets were chosen from more than 9,000 entered by New Mexico residents into a contest sponsored by the lottery and KOAT.

Six Photographers

Placitas resident Rozanne Hakala took the picture of Shiprock.

Santa Fe resident Carol Turner took the picture of Tent Rocks National Monument.

Albuquerque resident Jerry Cobb took the picture of El Malpais National Monument.

El Prado resident John Roper took the photo of Taos Mountain.

Los Lunas resident Adrienne Kozacek took the photo of Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Albuquerque resident Mark Venner took the photo of White Sands National Park.

“Our state never takes a bad photo,” said New Mexico Lottery CEO David Barden. “The scenery is stunning and we’re very proud to have these beautiful landmarks on a game that will help put more New Mexicans on the path to a college education.”

The $2 “I Love New Mexico” game features top prizes of $10,000. In addition to instant cash prizes, members of the lottery’s free VIP Club can enter non-winning “I Love New Mexico” tickets into a drawing for a chance to win a $10,000 cash prize. The deadline to enter at is Sept. 4, 2014.

Other games launching on “Super Tuesday” are:

  • $1 “8 Liner” featuring $888 top prizes;$1 “Triple 333” featuring $1,000 top prizes;
  • $3 “Bee Lucky Bingo” featuring $25,000 top prizes;
  • $5 “Wild Cash” featuring $50,000 top prizes;
  • And $10 “Jumbo Bucks” featuring $100,000 top prizes.

By launching games on the first Tuesday of the month – or “Super Tuesday” – the lottery is making the availability of new games more predictable to both stores and players and promoting games more cost efficiently.

Legislative Lottery Scholarships

Since its inception in 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised $604 million for education and more than 90,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships.

More information about Legislative Lottery Scholarships is available at

Follow the New Mexico Lottery on Facebook and YouTube.


Jerry Cobb - Albuquerque

Jerry Cobb of Albuquerque took the photo of La Ventana arch in El Malpais.

Jerry, a professional truck driver, has been taking photos since he was a boy – when film and negatives were still the tools of the trade.

Although he was born and raised in Albuquerque, Jerry never saw the La Ventana arch until 2013. After spotting a landmark sign while delivering goods along New Mexico Highway 117, he pulled over to investigate.

“I was awe-struck when I saw it,” Jerry said. “I am told that it is a sacred place to the Acoma people, and I can understand why.”

One month later, Jerry was dispatched to the same route. On this April trip, he brought his Sony Alpha 300 along for the ride and during his lunch break took more than 100 photos – both color and black and white.

After his family and girlfriend Tonya “prodded, poked and pestered” him, Jerry entered his favorite photo from that lunch-time photo shoot into the “I Love New Mexico” contest.

Jerry said it was almost unbelievable that with more than 9,000 entries, his photo was one of six chosen to be featured on the lottery’s “I Love New Mexico” Scratcher.

After the game launches, Jerry plans to buy a ticket showcasing his photo so that it’s never scratched.

“I’m going to place the ticket under glass with the master print of the photograph,” he said. “If a $10,000 prize from this game is never claimed, you’ll know why.”


John Roper - El Prado

John Roper of El Prado took the photo of Taos Mountain.

John fell in love with Taos in 1998 when his car broke down just as he and his family began driving home from a summer vacation in New Mexico. During their unforeseen layover, John said he and his family became “hooked” on the town’s beauty and slow pace.

Over the next 13 years, the Roper Family would return to Taos at least once a year. In 2011, he and his wife decided to leave Dallas to make Taos their home.

John – who opened a Dallas-based art gallery and framing store after retiring from an industrial parts business – is an amateur photographer. Since Taos Mountain is his backyard view, John estimates having taken more than a thousand photos of its face. In late January 2013, he couldn’t resist taking one more shot.

“The light is everything and it changes quickly,” John said. “I was taking the dog for a late-afternoon walk and I noticed that the colors were particularly intense.”

Knowing that he had to be quick, John captured the moment using a Sony RX-100 tucked inside a coat pocket.

“As the saying goes,” John said, “’The best camera is the one you have with you.’”

John said he was “overwhelmed” to learn that his shot of Taos Mountain would be featured on the New Mexico Lottery’s “I Love New Mexico” Scratcher. He joked that he’s going to be angry every time someone scratches the ticket and defaces his artwork.

“Just kidding,” he said. “Anything that benefits education in New Mexico has to be a positive thing.”


Carol Turner - Santa Fe

Carol Turner of Santa Fe took the photo of Tent Rocks.

A retired nurse, Carol took up photography in 2009. Today, she’s so busy taking both photos and photography classes that she has little time left for her other passion of art quilting.

Carol, who moved to New Mexico in the 1970s, visited the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument for the first time in February 2011. It was a day out to celebrate a friend’s birthday and her friend wanted to hike. Carol brought along a Canon Powershot SX 10 IS camera.

“I was astounded by the natural beauty of the formations,” Carol said. “It was such a fun day.”

When Carol learned about the KOAT photo contest, she hemmed and hawed about submitting a photo.

“I waited until the last minute to enter,” she said.

Carol feels “honored” to have her photo chosen for the “I Love New Mexico” Scratcher.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase one of our state’s jewels,” she said.

She hopes the photo contest inspires more people to visit the state’s great landmarks.

“New Mexico is ripe with so many beautiful photographic opportunities,” she said. “There’s so much beauty to be explored.”

Carol’s grandson is attending college on a Legislative Lottery Scholarship. He is studying architecture at the University of New Mexico.

“The scholarship program has been a blessing,” she said.


Adrienne Kozacek - Los Lunas

Adrienne Kozacek (pronounced co-zak) of Los Lunas took the photo of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Adrienne first visited the caverns in 1986 as a 13-year-old tourist on a family vacation from Florida. Since then, she has visited the caverns another six times.

In March 2012, Adrienne shot the photo that appears on the New Mexico Lottery’s “I Love New Mexico” Scratcher. Adrienne described that visit as a chance to practice low-light shots, but since the caverns’ path is narrow and uneven and it was crowded with kids, she wasn’t able to set up a tripod. When she found a scene with a wide variety of formations, Adrienne said she steadied the camera on her husband’s shoulder, “waited for the crowds to pass, held my breath and pushed the button.”

Adrienne said that having one of her photos chosen for the New Mexico Lottery’s “I Love New Mexico” Scratcher was a huge confidence boost.

“Just walking into the corner store and seeing my photo on a Scratcher will remind me of my talent,” she said. “However, it’s going to be hard not to tell everyone in the store that “that’s my photo!’”

Adrienne, who graduated from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology with a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering, describes herself as a semi-professional photographer. Since 2000, she has taken more than 10,000 photos. Adrienne’s current favorite camera is the Sony Alpha 350.


Mark Venner - Albuquerque

Mark Venner of Albuquerque took the photo of the White Sands National Monument.

Mark moved to Albuquerque with his wife and two young children 18 months ago after a 10-year career in the field of computer technology working for both the U.S. military and the State Department in various assignments around the world including the White House. When his Albuquerque employer went out of business, Mark decided to focus his attention full time on his passion for photography.

Mark is now a professional landscape photographer whose work has been published in National Geographic and Smithsonian Magazine.

He shot the White Sands photo that appears on the New Mexico Lottery’s “I Love New Mexico” Scratcher in February 2014. He received permission from park rangers to drive into the monument at 4:30 a.m. and then he hiked six miles through the park until he saw the perfect White Sands sunrise photograph.

“I was quite lucky to have wonderful clouds that morning and gorgeous sunrise colors,” he said.

Mark shot the White Sands photo using a Nikon D800 camera with a Nikon 14-24 mm f2/8g lense steadied on a Gitzo Traveller tripod.

Mark said being recognized by the New Mexico Lottery and KOAT is a “great and completely unexpected honor.”


Rozanne Hakala - Placitas

Rozanne Hakala (pronounced “rose-anne” “hack-a-la”) of Placitas took the photo of Shiprock Mountain on the Navajo Nation. She named her photo “Hallowed Ground” to honor a place that is sacred to the Navajo people.

After a long career as an executive with an international media publishing company based in Washington, D.C., Rozanne moved to New Mexico in 2013 to be closer to the area she loves to photograph. Today she is a freelance landscape and nature photographer focusing on the breathtaking scenery of the American Southwest. Rozanne’s photos have appeared in a variety of print and online publications and she has licensed images for use by Google, Microsoft, Ogilvy Advertising and the Weather Channel, among others.

Rozanne took the photo of Shiprock in October 2010 while vacationing in New Mexico. After seeing other people’s photos of Shiprock, Rozanne knew she had to photograph it for herself.

“The closer I came to the formation, the more connection and respect I felt for the land,” she said.

On the day Rozanne visited Shiprock, it had rained and the setting sun illuminated the mountain’s reflection in the water.

“I knew the photo was special for that reason alone,” Rozanne said.

Rather than put it into the marketplace, Rozanne held onto her photo of Shiprock waiting for a terrific opportunity.

“When the ‘I Love New Mexico’ photo contest came long, I thought, ‘That’s it.’ It was the perfect place and time for this photo,” she said.

“I mean, how cool is it to have your photo on a lottery Scratcher game,” Rozanne said. “My friends and family think it is the Coolest. Thing. Ever.”