07/20/2007 12:00AM

$133 single keys pick six score


DEL MAR, Calif. – A 72-year-old bingo player from San Diego scored the biggest jackpot of his life Thursday when he slipped away from bingo just long enough to play a Del Mar pick six that returned $110,111.40 for one winning ticket.

Raymond Byers placed his wager at Viejas Casino, where he is a regular in the bingo parlor. The unusual structure of his winning ticket - a $16 play that started with four singles - piqued the interest of Del Mar officials. After reviewing procedures Friday, track officials expressed confidence in the integrity of the parimutuel system.

Following the singles, the winning ticket included four horses in the next-to-last leg and two horses in the final leg. The structure was curious because three of his four singles were outsiders - including Freedom Class, who paid $133.80 in race 3. The other singles were Princess Susan M, who paid $18 in race 4; Swiss Blend, who paid $6 in race 5; and Ballistic Heat, who paid $31.60 in race 6.

Byers said he wagered $44 into the pick six Thursday. Byers cashed the ticket Thursday evening at Viejas, and admitted he was lucky. He originally wanted to single race-3 favorite Hit It Skip (No. 8) in the first leg, but when that one scratched, he said he was flustered and went instead with No. 7 - the $133.80 winner.

"I was in a hurry," Byers said. "I go by jockeys and trainers."

Byers said his biggest previous score was $13,000. He said he been wagering on horses since 1958, and placed his wagers between bingo sessions. He was unaware of his potential bonanza until after the first three races had been run.

Bill Navarro, Del Mar director of parimutuels, said a procedural review with the track auditor gave him confidence the ticket was legitimate. "There is no doubt in my mind," Navarro said.

Byers's four horses in race 7 included $11 winner Hello Sunday. In the final leg, one of his two horses was $5.80 winner Mix.