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N.M. man had jackpot-winning lottery ticket in car for 2 months

Jul 22, 2014, 11:02 am

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New Mexico Lottery

For almost two months, Dennis Romero of Albuquerque, New Mexico, drove around town with a lottery ticket worth $385,000 in the backseat of his car. 

On Friday afternoon, Romero discovered his good fortune.  Realizing he had unchecked tickets from May, he pulled into a store parking lot, grabbed the tickets and scanned them himself using a countertop ticket checker.

"When it said, 'Claim at lottery,' I knew I had won something big," Romero said.

On his quick-pick ticket for the May 29 Roadrunner Cash drawing, Romero matched the winning numbers of 4, 10 12, 31 and 32 to land the night's jackpot of $385,000.  His ticket included two other plays that paid $1 each. 

"From now on, I'm going to check my tickets more often," Romero told lottery officials in Albuquerque yesterday.

New Mexico Lottery tickets expire 90 days after the date of the drawing.

Romero said he's going to use his six-figure prize to pay bills and get ready for retirement.

The winner bought his lucky ticket at the 7-Eleven store located at 401 Copper Ave. NW in Albuquerque.  Previously, the store has sold eight other large prize-winning lottery tickets paying between $1,000 and $5,000.  For selling the jackpot-winning ticket, the store is eligible for a $1,000 lottery bonus.

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