There were several big winners playing Iowa Lottery games in April, with two winners pulling in a six-figure payday.
The hottest game appeared to be the “$100,000 Mega Crossword,” with five winners taking home at least $10,000. One of those winners was able to land a top prize.
Top prize ‘shocks’ Marshalltown man
Around $2 billion in proceeds have been raised by the Iowa Lottery since it began in 1985. Most of that money has gone to the Iowa general fund to pay for numerous services and projects across the state. Some of it has gone toward the treatment for problem gamblers, the Iowa Veterans Trust fund, and the CLEAN fund.
At the end of April, a Marshalltown man claimed the second top prize of 20 in the “Lucky 7 Bonus” scratch-off game. Steven Snyder purchased the $250,000-winning ticket at a Casey’s in Ankeny. He claimed his prize at the Lottery’s headquarters in Clive.
For Snyder, it was a moment of complete shock:
“Started going down the line on the play section, and I get down to number 14; scratch the prize and basically was in shock, like I am now. I like, wipe my eyes, like, ‘Am I seeing everything?’ I work third shift, so it’s kind of late, 3 a.m.”
When asked about what he’s planning on doing with his winnings, Snyder said he’d like to spend it on a good thing. He admitted, however, that he may splurge a little bit.
“Obviously, I’m going to do something stupid, I’ll be honest. Probably get a nicer car or something, set a limit. It’ll be a nice little safety umbrella for me.”
Lucky 7 Bonus is a $20 scratch-off game with overall odds of 1 in 2.88. Odds for the top prize are 1 in 118,277.25.
A $100,000 Mega Crossword win
A Fontanelle woman took home the 33rd top prize in the “$100,000 Mega Crossword” scratch-off game. Valerie Edwards purchased the $100,000-winning ticket at the Casey’s in her hometown. She claimed her prize at the Lottery headquarters in Clive on April 27.
$100,000 Mega Crossword is a $10-scratch-off game with overall odds of 1 in 3.3. Odds for the top prize are 1 in 119,287.89.
Super Cash top prize headed to Illinois
An Illinois woman claimed a top prize in the Iowa Lottery’s “Super Cash” scratch-off game. Nancy Hernandez of Davis Junction purchased the winning ticket at a Kwik Star in Bettendorf, claiming the $50,000 prize at the Lottery’s Cedar Rapids regional office. She is the seventh top-prize winner.
Super Cash is a $5 scratch-off game with overall odds of 1 in 3.4. The game had eight top prizes, with the odds of winning the top prize at 1 in 125,842.50. Prizes range from $5 to $50,000.
Second top prize in Super Crossword claimed
A Johnston woman won the second top prize of $50,000 in the “$50,000 Super Crossword” game. Tiffany Stangland purchased her winning ticket from the Johnston Casey’s. She later claimed her prize on April 26 at the lottery headquarters in Clive.
$50,000 Super Crossword is a $5 scratch-off game featuring 105 top prizes, with the overall odds of 1 in 3.26. Odds for the top prize are 1 in 119,660.57. Prizes range from $5 to $50,000.
Jackpot winner briefly returns to work after big win
A Mason City man went out for his lunch break and clocked back in over $21,000 richer. Kelly Als purchased a couple of InstaPlay tickets at Yesway in Mason City and claimed the jackpot of $21,251.60 in the Cherry Twist Progressive InstaPlay game. He claimed the prize on April 25 at the Lottery’s Mason City regional office.
The Yesway is close to Als’ job at Hawkeye Autobody, so when he returned to work after winning, he couldn’t focus.
“Tried to work and it lasted about five minutes and decided to tell the boss I needed some time off.”
Als called his girlfriend after he won to tell her, but she didn’t believe him at first. His shaking voice is what Als believes convinced her he was telling the truth.
As for what he plans to do with his winnings, Als isn’t entirely sure just yet. He was still dealing with a rollercoaster of emotions from hitting the jackpot.
“It goes in spurts. Like I’ll be calm for a little bit and then I’ll just kind of freak out again. [I’ll] probably just put it away in the bank for now until I calm down enough to figure out what to do with it.”
The Cherry Twist Progressive jackpot starts at $2,000, and increases by every $2 ticket sold. Odds start at 1 in 3.82, with odds for the jackpot being 1 in 60,000.
‘I asked for Money Madness’
For Virgil Houdek, the intended game he wanted to play being sold out was a $10,000 blessing in disguise. The Charles City man stopped by the Love’s Travel Stop in Floyd and intended to play Money Madness, but he was told it was sold out.
“I asked for the Money Madness. They didn’t have it. So I took the crossword next to it.”
Houdek shared the news of his good fortune by sending a picture of the winning notification displayed on the screen, which initially didn’t receive much belief from his brother:
“I took a picture of the screen where it says, ‘Congratulations! You win!’ Took a picture of that and sent it to people. My brother sent me a thing that says, ‘Fake news.'”
With his winnings, the 57-year-old plans to pay off his motorcycle.
Houdek was the 64th $10,000-prize winner in the lottery’s “$100,000 Mega Crossword” scratch-off game. He claimed the prize on April 22 at the Lottery’s Mason City regional office. Odds for the $10,000 prize are 1 in 59,643.95.
Nine $10,000 prizes remain after a couple $100,000 Mega Crossword wins
A Columbus Junction woman and a Sioux Center woman were added to the list of winners in the “$100,000 Mega Crossword” scratch-off game this past week. Kara Weiershauser won the 66th $10,000 prize of 76 after buying the ticket at a Casey’s in Colona, while Teaelisha Rutledge won the 67th from the Cedar Falls Hy-Vee.
Weiershauser claimed her prize at the Cedar Rapids regional office on April 25. Rutledge claimed hers at the same location on April 27.