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Linn County Man Plays His and His Son's Birth Years in 'Pick 4,' Wins $9,500 in Prizes

Douglas Kamberling Was Inspired By Another Man's Recent Win In The Game

Douglas Kamberling   Hear Douglas tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - Inspired by news of a Cedar Rapids man's recent luck playing the Iowa Lottery's Pick 4 game, Douglas Kamberling said he decided to start playing the game, too - and he's won a total of nearly $10,000 in two of the game's drawings.

Kamberling of Lisbon said he heard the story of Wiley Tuley winning 42 prizes totaling $200,000 in a Pick 4 drawing on Feb. 20, so he decided to try the game for himself.

The 49-year-old wine distributor said he used Tuley's strategy and played his birth year - 1964 - in the March 8 evening drawing and ended up winning $250. The winning numbers in that drawing were 6-1-4-9. Kamberling won by matching all four of the numbers drawn in any order; this is known as a box play.

Kamberling then played his son's birth year of 1994 in the midday Pick 4 drawing on March 9. He matched all four numbers in the exact order as drawn on two plays to win a $6,000 prize and a $3,000 prize, respectively. And, he also matched all four numbers in any order on an additional play to win another $250. Kamberling's total winnings for the March 9 midday drawing were $9,250.

"I have no luck at all and to hit back-to-back like that, wow!" Kamberling told lottery employees as he claimed his prizes Monday at the lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

Kamberling said he didn't even know he had won until his wife alerted him.

"She called me on the phone and said, 'Have you looked at the lottery numbers?' I said, 'No.' She goes, 'I think that you won,'" he said.

Kamberling purchased his winning ticket for the March 9 drawing at Brother's Market Three, 930 Commercial St. in Lisbon; and his March 8 winning ticket at Casey's, 2157 U.S. Highway 6 in Marengo.

Kamberling said his lottery winnings will be used to pay bills.

Pick 4, which has been offered in Iowa since September 2003, features a top prize of $30,000, with odds of just 1:10,000 of winning it. Another intriguing aspect of the game comes in the variety of ways players can choose to play it. Plays in Pick 4 range from 50 cents to $5 for the chance to match a four-digit combination of numbers from 0000 to 9999.

There are several ways to win in Pick 4. A player can choose a straight play, meaning that if the winning numbers are 1-2-3-4, the player wins a prize for matching that combination exactly: 1-2-3-4. Another option is to choose a box play, which allows players to win for matching the winning numbers, but not in the exact order drawn (if the winning numbers are 1-2-3-4, you can win for a combination of those numbers, such as 4-3-2-1). You also can choose a straight/box play, which allows you to win for matching the numbers in the exact order drawn or in any order.

Pick 4 drawings are held twice daily. The game's midday drawings are at 12:40 p.m. with evening drawings at 9:20 p.m.

Winning numbers may be checked at the lottery website at or through the winning numbers' hot line at (515) 323-4633. Winning numbers may also be checked with lottery retail outlets or by calling the lottery at (515) 725-7900 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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