DES MOINES, Iowa A Traer man decided to try a scratch game his friend likes to play and ended up winning a top prize of $250,000.
Kyle Fowler, 24, said he bought a "Cash Bonanza" scratch ticket to pass the time.
"I was scratching it and it just, you know, I seen two hundred and fifty and I was like, 'Oh wow.' Because I thought $250 was pretty decent," he said. "But then I just kept scratching it and it turned out to be the big ticket and I was just shocked."
Fowler was at Sinclair, 206 N. Main St. in Traer where he purchased and then scratched the ticket, so he had it validated immediately.
"He hit the OK and it printed that long receipt and he just was like, 'Wow, you obviously won a lot of money!'" Fowler said.
Fowler, who is a mechanic, said he thought since he lives in a small town he would never win something so big.
"It was so crazy, I didn't believe it at all," he said.
Fowler tried to call his mom, but ended up getting a hold of a good friend first.
"There was a lot of rumors," he said with a laugh as he claimed the prize Wednesday at the Iowa Lottery's headquarters in Des Moines.
Fowler said he plans to invest some of his winnings as well as enroll in college.
Cash Bonanza is a $10 scratch game. Players win a prize by matching any of "your numbers" to any of the "winning numbers" and win the prize shown for that number. If players find the "coin" symbol, they win that prize instantly. If they find the "star" symbol, they win double the prize amount shown for that symbol. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.57.
Three top prizes of $250,000 are still up for grabs in Cash Bonanza, as well as nine prizes of $10,000, 19 prizes of $4,000, 323 prizes of $1,000 and several thousand prizes of $500, $200 and $100.
Players can enter eligible nonwinning scratch tickets online to earn "Points For Prizes" points. The point value will be revealed to the player on the website upon successful submission of each eligible valid ticket. There is a limit of 30 ticket entries per day. To participate in Points For Prizes, a player must register for a free account at ialottery.com. Registration is a one-time process. Merchandise that can be ordered by using points will be listed on the website in the Points For Prizes online store. Players can choose from items in categories such as apparel, automotive, jewelry, sporting, tools and more.
Since the lottery's start in 1985, its players have won more than $2.9 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.4 billion for the state programs that benefit all Iowans.
Today, lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for veterans, help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund, and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.