No Fooling: Dubuque Bar Sells $40 Million Iowa Lottery Jackpot Ticket

Written By Darren Cooper on April 3, 2023
Lotto America ticket sold in Iowa wins $40M jackpot

After its tasty fried pickles, Eichman’s Bar and Grill in Dubuque has a new claim to fame. It’s the place where a $40 million Lotto America jackpot ticket was sold.

On April Fool’s Day, no less.

No one had stepped forward to claim the prize as of Monday, two days after the Saturday drawing. The jackpot is a record for Lotto America. No player had won the jackpot since July 2021. The winner hit the numbers 2-38-43-46-51 plus the Star Ball 7.

Lotto America jackpot winner can take $21M lump sum

Iowa is one of just 13 states where players can buy Lotto America tickets. Beside Lotto America, the Iowa Lottery offers three other multi-state draws: Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky for Life.

Some see Lotto America as Powerball’s smaller cousin. Tickets cost a dollar. Powerball is open in 48 states. Like Powerball, Lotto America has drawings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The winner has the option of a $40.03 million annuity or a $21.28 million cash lump sum.

Iowa bar owner thought jackpot winner sold at her business was a joke

“It’s hard to believe,” bar owner Stacy Eichman told the Telegraph Herald. She explained to Iowa Lottery officials that she was leaving the establishment around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night when one of her bartenders told her that officials were trying to reach her to confirm the ticket sale.

Noting the time and date, Stacy figured it was a big April Fool’s prank. But when the nearby gas station also called Eichman with the same request, she realized this was no joke.

“Most of our (lottery ticket) sales are just to local people from (North Buena Vista), Holy Cross, Sherrill – those are our customers – not people passing through.”

Eichman told the Telegraph Herald Monday that she wasn’t sure of the identity of the winner.

Eichman’s gets $5K for selling winning ticket

Dubuque is a town in Eastern Iowa near the Illinois border with a population of approximately 60,000.

Eichman’s, across the street from Diversified Performance, a racing car parts store, near Sageville Mini Storage and also Sageville Elementary School, will get $5,000 for the honor of selling the winning ticket. The bar and grill has been family owned since 1931.

According to the Eichman’s website, the bar is open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, closed on Sundays and Mondays. The food menu includes chicken wings and breaded mushrooms. There are seven different specialty pizzas and pool and dart leagues.

And one lucky patron is now a millionaire.

What happens next?

Iowa Lottery officials advise big winners to speak with lawyers or financial planners before coming forward to claim their prize.

The Saturday jackpot is just the second time Lotto America was won in Iowa. A Davenport man won a $4.38 million award in May of 2018. Players in Lotto America choose five numbers from a pool of 52 and also the Star Ball from a pool of 10. Players win the jackpot by matching all six.

Iowa Lottery CEP Matt Strawn, who also serves as vice-chairman of the Lotto America game group, was thrilled the winning ticket was sold in Iowa.

“As the jackpot continued to climb, we kept saying that the odds of winning it in Iowa are the same as anywhere else, and now it’s happened. This is a moment to celebrate for our winner, our retailer and the Iowa Lottery.”

Lotto America returns to a $2 million annuity with a $1.06 million cash option for the game’s next drawing.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper was born and raised in Southern Louisiana, just a short pirogue ride away from New Orleans. He started his journalism career at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and has been a writer and columnist in New Jersey since 1998. He's won 14 statewide press awards and earned his first Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 award in 2022. 

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