Socorro’s Elliott draws winning ticket

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A graphic designer with deep ties to Socorro recently drew a winning ticket in the New Mexico Lottery.

Joby Elliott might not have won a multi-million dollar prize jackpot, but the Socorro native and Socorro High graduate hit the jackpot nonetheless.

Elliott, 22, works as a graphic designer for the New Mexico Lottery. This year, his “Red vs. Green” Scratcher ticket illustration was selected to join other Scratcher tickets widely circulated throughout the state.

Elliott, who was born in Socorro and graduated from Socorro High School, said having his design chosen is really cool.

“It’s really exciting,” Elliott said in an e-mail. “I’ve never had my artwork printed on 700,000 pieces of paper before.

“I’m going to a gas station today just so I can look at the tickets in a dispenser and say to myself, ‘I made that,’” he said.

His winning design depicts red and green chiles – the state’s trademark cuisine – as “overheated chile track stars competing in a frantic footrace,” a New Mexico Lottery release states.

Elliott said he pitched the concept as a fresh take on New Mexico’s passion for peppers and perhaps the most often asked question at eateries throughout the Land of Enchantment: “Red or green?”

The image appears on $1 Scratchers, which boast instant top prizes of $2,000. Those who aren’t fortunate enough to win the cash are still eligible for a second-chance drawing, which will see lucky winners grab a gas grill and regional chile products.

That drawing – accessible at www.nmlottery.com – will be held on October 27.

A studio art major at the University of New Mexico, Elliott joined the lottery’s staff in 2008. His association with the New Mexico Lottery, however, dates back a few years; he attended college on a Legislative Lottery Scholarship.

In addition to his graphic design work, Elliott also creates content for the lottery’s Web site and for in-store advertising displays.

As he prepares to graduate from UNM, Elliott said his immediate plans are to continue making “really cool stuff for New Mexico Lottery’s players.”