ALBUQUERQUE — Beatrice Vigil of Mora won $50,000 playing the New Mexico Lottery’s “Holiday Chile Tree” Scratcher.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Vigil said. “I still can’t believe I won.”
Vigil bought her lucky $5 ticket on Dec. 20 while waiting for her sister-in-law to buy milk. After finding the prize, the winner drove home to show the ticket to her husband, Sam Martinez, who was sick in bed.
“I couldn’t talk, but I gave her a ‘thumbs up,’” Martinez said. “I always told her, ‘One of these days, you’re going to win the lottery.’”
Vigil, who frequently participates in charity raffles, is no stranger to good fortune.
“I’m very lucky,” she said. “I’ve won irons and toasters and color TVs and coolers and lots of gift certificates, but never anything as big as $50,000. It’s awesome.”
Although she has a new long shopping list, Vigil said her first priority will be to share her prize with family members who have been less fortunate.
“I’ve been blessed and I want to pass that blessing on to them,” she said.
Vigil’s lucky ticket came from the Allsup’s store in Mora. Previously, the store has sold nine large prize-winning lottery tickets, paying between $1,000 and $41,000.
Other recent Scratcher winners include Audriana Herrera who won $30,000, Robert Lucero, $20,000, and David Esquibel, $2,000. They all live in Las Vegas, according to lottery officials.
Since 1996, the lottery has raised $462 million for education and more than 68,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships. As of the Spring 2010 semester, 218 students from Mora County have received lottery scholarships.