Albuquerque man draws top prize

By Chelle Delaney: QCS Staff

Two tickets, one owned by Robert Avery of Albuquerque and the other by Rex Maddaford of Tucumcari, were the last two up.

Each had a 50-50 shot at the $15,000.

It was the reverse draw and Altrusa’s annual fundraiser on Saturday night at the Elks Club.

Maddaford had endured the drama of being in front of the crowd at the Elk’s Club while eight other numbers were pulled from the bin and wondering, with each one, if he’d be shut out of the chance for $15,000.

Avery, on the other hand, was “just sitting in my easy chair, kind of dozing,” he recalled, when he answered the phone. He also recalled waking up pretty fast when he heard he had a chance of winning $15,000 and was asked if he wanted to sell his ticket.

Both men turned down offers to buy their tickets for $300 and $6,000.

It was like a home version of the “Deal or No Deal” television program, said Avery, who said he could hear the commotion in the background.

There was coaching from the crowd, too, who shouted out several times, “No deal.”
Ultimately, the numbers ruled. Mattaford won $500.

His wife, Jeannette Mattaford said, “I guess I’ll go on a shopping spree.”
Avery said he put his wife, Maxine, on speaker phone, so she could hear what was going on.

Merlinda Turner, wife of the late Terry Turner, sold Avery the ticket. Avery said he and Terry Turner had been friends since their college days and that they also worked at Ethicon together.

Now, that he’s a littler richer, what are his plans?

“We’ll probably splurge on something,” he said, adding that he would give some to his church. And, he said they’d probably share some with Merlinda Turner. After all, she made it all possible by selling him the winning ticket.