Kicks 66 named ‘Lucky Landmark’

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A community party was underway at Young Baca’s Kicks 66 store in Belen for selling “an incredibly lucky ticket.”

The New Mexico Lottery recognized the store as a “Lucky Landmark” for selling a Mega Millions ticket worth $1 million to Veguita resident Danny Garcia during the June 5 drawing.

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Abigail R. Ortiz-News-Bulletin photo: Young Baca’s Kicks 66 store were dubbed a “Lucky Landmark” by the New Mexico Lottery for selling a Mega Millions ticket worth $1 million. Pictured, from left, are Kicks 66 owners Loretta and Paul Baca, New Mexico Lottery Authority’s former board member Nino Trujillo, State Sen. Michael S. Sanchez and New Mexico Lottery Authority’s Treasurer Herman J. Tabet.

ve of Garcia’s quick-pick ticket numbers matched the winning white balls totalling a $250,000 prize, which quadrupled to $1 million since Garcia added the game’s $1 Megaplier feature that multiplies non-jackpot prizes.

For selling the winning ticket, the store’s owners, Paul Baca and his wife, Loretta, received a plaque commemorating the event and a $2,500 bonus check.

“It’s easy to forget the arm who sells the tickets are asking for sales and remind customers of the jackpot,” said Linda Hamlin, New Mexico Lottery communications manager. “We want to make sure when we have a chance we honor them.”

Lottery retailers are hidden heroes and the key to success of the Legislative Lottery Scholarship that’s provided thousands of New Mexicans with college tuition assistance, Hamlin said.

Thirty cents of every $1 sold in lottery sales is directed toward the scholarship program.

More than $525 million have been raised for the scholarship since it launched in 1996. Of those funds, more than 3,200 Valencia County students have utilized $14.5 million to attend college.

The scholarship program presents young New Mexicans with the opportunity to further their education, and in turn opens up a new horizon for residents within the community, Paul Baca said.

“It’s a wonderful way to propel the community forward and live better lives,” Baca said.

Everyone who participates in the lottery is a winner, even the losers, said New Mexico Lottery Authority Treasurer Herman J. Tabet.

The store, located on 1304 S. Main St., has sold three large prize-winning lottery tickets since it opened nine years ago.

Although Garcia won the largest lottery prize from the store, Belen’s Max Coffey won a $50,000 lottery prize earlier this month and another resident won $165,000 about five years ago.

“I’m glad we have winners in the community. It generates excitement,” said Belen Mayor Rudy Jaramillo.


-- Email the author at aortiz@news-bulletin.com.