ALBUQUERQUE – A Los Lunas man and an Albuquerque woman each won a 2014 Ford* F-150 XLT CrewCab truck from the New Mexico Lottery Saturday.
The winners are David Heckler and Monica Franco. They were two of six finalists drawn from more than 80,000 entries of non-winning tickets entered into a promotion for the lottery’s “Trucks & Bucks” Scratcher.
Above: David Heckler, winner of “Trucks & Bucks” Scratcher
After the Isotopes game Saturday evening, the finalists gathered at home plate to draw keys while two trucks were driven onto the field.
Heckler drew the first spot to start the trucks. Unaware at the time that he had not put his key fully into the ignition of the truck parked along the third-base line, Heckler’s attempt failed.
After the other finalists were unable to start the same truck, the lottery went back to Heckler as the first contestant in line and asked him to try his key again. If Heckler couldn’t start the truck, the next finalist in descending order would also have another chance to try their key.
On his second attempt, the truck’s engine roared to life. Heckler said he was shocked.
“I’m not lucky,” he said. “My wife tells me that I got lucky only one other time and that’s when she married me 34 years ago.”
Heckler said he has been playing New Mexico Lottery games since “day one” and that two of his three daughters received Legislative Lottery Scholarships and attended the University of New Mexico at Valencia.
Franco was the fifth finalist to draw a key. As she walked to the first truck, her mind was on only one thing.
“I was hoping I wouldn’t trip and fall in front of all those people,” she said.
Above: Monica Franco, winner of “Trucks & Bucks” Scratcher
Franco’s key failed to spark the first truck’s engine.
As she walked to the second truck parked near first base, Franco said it became harder to hear. When the engine turned over, she said she didn’t know the truck was running until the lottery security agent standing nearby broke into a big grin.
“It was shocking,” Franco said. “I’ve never won anything before.”
Each truck prize is valued at $55,000 and includes sales tax, license and title as well as the tax owed on the prize.
The remaining four finalists won $500 each in cash. They are Sara Gallegos of Albuquerque, Ronald Pagett of Des Moines, Mike Moore of Alto and Heather Williams of Alamogordo.
The giveaway event was conducted by the lottery’s security department and an auditor, and recorded in its entirety on videotape.
The trucks were provided by Rich Ford.
Legislative Lottery Scholarships
Since 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 3,800 students from Valencia County have received approximately $19 million in Legislative Lottery Scholarships.
More information about Legislative Lottery Scholarships is available at www.nmlottery.com.