Rosalia Trujillo of Tucumcari won a $30,000 Powerball prize on a ticket declined by another player.
Trujillo's lucky quick-pick ticket for the game's April 26 drawing matched the white ball numbers of 3, 7, 22, 30 and 33. Ordinarily, matching five white balls is worth $10,000, but the ticket included Power Play, a $1-option that multiplies non-jackpot prizes between two and five times. On April 26, the Power Play multiplier was 3, turning Trujillo's $10,000 prize into $30,000.
Trujillo said she plays only when she can buy a ticket another player didn't want, a tip she picked up from her brother who won $100 playing a declined ticket.
"I like to go into the different stores to see if they have any mistakes," she said. "The clerks think I'm crazy, but you never know."
David Barden, New Mexico Lottery CEO, said players can decline a drawing ticket if it isn't what they requested. For instance, a player may have wanted a Mega Millions ticket, but asked for a Hot Lotto® ticket by mistake, or the clerk forgot to add a Powerball player's request for the Power Play option.
Barden said stores are encouraged to offer declined tickets to other players. If the tickets aren't sold to players by drawing time, the store pays the purchase price to the lottery.
The lottery has no information about why another player declined the ticket eventually purchased by Trujillo. In matching the five winning white balls, the ticket beat odds of approximately 1 in 648,000.
Trujillo discovered her good fortune three days after the drawing when she called the lottery's hotline to listen to a recording of winning numbers from the April 26 drawing.
"I called it three times," she said. "I didn't believe it. I was shaking."
Trujillo, who said the prize is going toward home improvements and her September wedding, bought her lucky ticket at the Pilot Travel Center located at 2021 S. Mountain Road in Tucumcari.