#1 Oct 15, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE – A Moriarty man yesterday claimed the last top prize from the New Mexico Lottery’s “$500,000 Extravaganza” Scratcher™ game.
Lonnie Freyburger and wife Lois claimed the one-half million dollar prize at lottery headquarters in Albuquerque. When he received the check, the 52-year-old line manager for the state’s department of transportation exhaled quick, short puffs of breath and wiped sweat from his brow. Lois Freyburger wept. To make his wife to stop crying, Lonnie Freyburger joked about changing their plans for a celebratory restaurant dinner of soup and salad.
“You can have an entree,” he said.
Lonnie Freyburger purchased the $20 Scratcher while on a lunch break in Santa Fe.
“The ticket was looking lonely so I told the clerk,‘Okay, give me that one,’” he recalled for lottery officials.
Lonnie Freyburger scratched the ticket in his car using his lucky penny. The discovery of the prize made for a nerve-racking 40-mile ride home to Moriarty.
“Have you ever had a half million dollars in your car?” he said.“My legs were shaking.”
The Freyburgers plan to share their windfall with children and grandchildren and save for retirement.
“This is life-changing,” Lonnie Freyburger said.
The lottery’s “$500,000 Extravaganza” game paid three prizes of $500,000, the largest Scratcher prizes ever in New Mexico.
The prize-winning ticket was sold by the Eldorado Chevron at 7 Colinas Dr. and U.S. Highway 285 in Santa Fe. This lottery retailer has sold five other large prize-winning tickets ranging between $1,000 and $10,000.
$227 Million in Prizes in Fiscal Year
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