CLIVE, Iowa — A Waukee woman said she carefully waited until she got to the Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive before celebrating her $50,000 win.
“I didn’t want to get too excited,” Stephanie Green told lottery officials Monday as she claimed her prize. “I’m like, ‘There’s no way!’ We’re just your ordinary people who don’t have too much luck.”
Green, 42, claimed the third top prize in the Iowa Lottery’s $50,000 Holiday Crossword scratch game. Her husband, Trinity, bought the winning ticket over the weekend at the Hy-Vee gas station at 1025 E. Hickman Road in Waukee.
Stephanie scratched the ticket later that day at home.
“So I got scratching and I’m like, ‘Ooh, there’s another word, and another word,’” she said. “And then finally at the end, I finally started counting them, and I’m like, ‘Oh, eight! I got eight words. $500, that’s awesome!’”
As she looked over her ticket, she decided to write down her completed words. That’s when she realized she had 10 of them to reach the game’s top prize level.
She quickly called Trinity.
“I’m like, ‘You’ve got to come home! You’ve got to look at this!’” she said with a laugh.
Greene, a mother of four, said the win brought a sense of relief.
“You’re just so thankful,” she said. “We have four kids to raise, so it was unreal. And now we can try to set our kids up for a good future.”
The $50,000 Holiday Crossword is a $5 scratch game that features 13 top prizes of $50,000 and overall odds of 1 in 3.53.
Players can enter nonwinning holiday scratch tickets into the lottery’s Winner Wonderland Play It Again promotion from now through 8:59 a.m. on Jan. 5. The promotion features $640,000 in cash prizes, including a $250,000 grand prize. For rules and complete details, visit the Iowa Lottery website.