ALBUQUERQUE – A Las Vegas man won a $50,000 prize from the New Mexico Lottery.
Beating odds of 1 in 160,000, Ernest Martinez revealed the prize in a “$50,000 Gold Rush” Scratcher that he bought along with his lunch on Wednesday. He played the $5 game in his truck before leaving the store’s parking lot.
Above: Ernest Martinez, winner of “$50,000 Gold Rush” Scratcher
“I started laughing,” Martinez recalled for lottery officials in Albuquerque yesterday. “And I laughed all the way home. It was so exciting.”
Arleen Martinez said her husband has a good attitude when he plays lottery games.
“He plays because he enjoys it,” she said. “I think that’s why he’s so lucky – he’s just having fun.”
Martinez bought his lucky ticket at the Better Stop located at 1339 N. Grand Ave. in Las Vegas. Previously, the store has sold 34 large prize-winning lottery tickets paying between $1,000 and $70,000.
In August, Martinez plans to use some of his prize to take his family to Dallas to watch the Broncos beat the Cowboys.
The Martinez family is no stranger to lottery good fortune. Their oldest daughter has a Legislative Lottery Scholarship and is studying nursing at CNM. She plans to finish her education at the University of New Mexico. Their younger daughter, a high school sophomore, also has her sights on college and a Legislative Lottery Scholarship.
Earlier in June, Angela Sanchez of Las Vegas won a $1,200 Scratcher prize. Sanchez bought her ticket at the Allsup’s Store located at 1032 Grand Ave. in Las Vegas.
Legislative Lottery Scholarships
Since its inception in 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised $610 million for education and more than 90,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships.
In the past 18 years, more than 1,500 students from San Miguel County have received approximately $7.3 million in Legislative Lottery Scholarships.
More information about Legislative Lottery Scholarships is available at www.nmlottery.com.