Record Number of Winning Pick 3 Tickets Claimed by One Person for One Drawing


ALBUQUERQUE – Abdel (Joe) Manasra of Albuquerque claimed $72,500 in Pick 3 prizes on December 13, 2016. This is a record Pick 3 prize for any one New Mexico player for one drawing. It consists of 145 winning tickets for the Pick 3 December 12 EVE Draw. The winning numbers, 6-1-4 were Mr. Manasra’s father’s P.O. Box. He’s played them for years.

Nicolae (Nick) Spilca, winner of $2,500 Pick 3 prize and Abdel (Joe) Manasra, winner of $72,500 Pick 3 prize

Above: Nicolae (Nick) Spilca, winner of $2,500 Pick 3 prize and Abdel (Joe) Manasra, winner of $72,500 Pick 3 prize

Joe Manasra arrived at Lottery Headquarters with his best friend, Nicolae (Nick) Spilca. Nick takes credit for teaching Joe ‘how’ to play Pick 3. They each play their favorite numbers. Nick’s are 8-1-2, and Joe’s are 6-1-4. And they always buy more than one ticket for a drawing. “Never buy just one,” Nick told Joe.

On December 12, Nick’s lucky numbers of 8-1-2 came up for the Pick 3 DAY Draw. But he hadn’t bought a ticket. Joe saw Nick’s numbers come up and “just had a feeling” – so he bought 150 ‘Straight’ Pick 3 tickets with his lucky numbers… and went to bed.

Around 11 pm, Joe Manasra’s phone rang, waking him up. It was Nick Spilca. Nick simply said, “Joe! Six. One. Four.” Joe replied “Don’t joke with this.” Nick told him he was not joking and hung up to recheck the numbers. Nick called Joe back and said, “It’s 6-1-4!” If Joe had bought one ticket for the draw, it would have been a $500 win. However, he bought 150 tickets for that draw with the numbers 6-1-4, which equated to $75,000 in winnings. (Joe gave five of the winning tickets to Nick.)

Joe and his wife woke up their kids. At first, the kids didn’t believe it. But it didn’t take long for them to put in their Christmas requests.

Joe Manasra is already a winner. His oldest child is currently a Legislative Lottery Scholarship recipient. Mr. Manasra is also the owner of Manasra Chevron at 2124 ‎San Mateo Blvd. NE in Albuquerque‎, where he purchased his tickets.

About Pick 3

Pick 3 is a New Mexico draw game that has two drawings per day. Players select play type (Straight, Box or Straight/Box) and choose 3 numbers from 0 to 9, or ask for a Quick Pick. Tickets cost $1 per play per draw. Prizes range from $5 to $500 depending on play type selected and numbers drawn. It’s not uncommon to see many winners in one draw. The EVE draw on 12/14/16 yielded 31 winning tickets with the numbers 9-9-9.

Legislative Lottery Scholarships

The Lottery celebrated its 20-year anniversary on April 27. Since 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has raised $713.6 million for education and more than 100,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships. More information about Legislative Lottery Scholarships is available at

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