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Los Lunas man claims $1 million New Mexico Lottery prize

Ricardo Abeyta

Drawing Date: 3/27/2015

March 30, 2015 - A Los Lunas man claimed a $1 million prize from the New Mexico Lottery today. In the March 27 Mega Millions drawing, Ricardo Abeyta had a quick-pick ticket that matched the winning white ball numbers of 17, 21, 36, 58 and 70, beating odds of 1 in approximately 18.4 million. Abeyta missed the yellow Mega Ball of 3 to win the night’s jackpot of $15 million.

Abeyta discovered his good fortune Sunday morning when he stopped at a store on his way to work. The store’s self-service ticket checker printed a message that read, “Claim at Lottery.”

“I knew I had won something big,” he said. Before leaving the store, Abeyta used his smart phone to check the lottery’s website and learned that a $1 million prize had been won in Friday’s drawing. He called girlfriend Brenda Marquez immediately.

“I said, ‘I can’t breathe right now. I can’t breathe. I think I actually won,’” Abeyta recalled for lottery officials in Albuquerque. “I thought he was having medical issues,” Marquez said.

“I’ve been playing for years, but luck is luck,” Abeyta said. “I’m grateful for what I do have, but I’ve never won anything like this before. It feels unreal.”

Abeyta, who said he’ll save his prize for retirement, purchased his lucky ticket at the Corner Store located at 1775 Main St. SW in Los Lunas. Previously, the store has sold nine large prize-winning tickets paying between $1,000 and $18,000.  

For selling the $1 million-winning ticket to Abeyta, the Corner Store is eligible for a $2,500 New Mexico Lottery bonus.