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First Top Prize Claimed In New 'Mike's Picks' Scratch Game

Brandi Bunting of Marathon Wins $50,000 Lottery Prize

Brandi Bunting   Hear Brandi tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - The first $50,000 top prize in the Iowa Lottery's new "Mike's Picks" instant-scratch game was claimed Monday by a northwest Iowa woman.

Brandi Bunting of Marathon said she decided to try the new game this morning and couldn't believe that she had won a big lottery prize.

"I was just staring at it, I didn't know if I actually won it or not," Bunting told lottery employees as she claimed her prize today at the lottery's regional office in Storm Lake.

Bunting, 39, said she normally buys $1 scratch games at Murphy USA, 1829 Lake Ave. in Storm Lake, but was drawn to the new $5 scratch game, that features Mike Wolfe, an Iowa man who's made a name for himself as an expert collectibles picker.

"Something said to pick that one I guess," she said.

Bunting, a certified nursing assistant, said she plans to use some of her lottery winnings to purchase a newer vehicle, and save the rest.

The $5 Mike's Picks scratch game began sales Thursday. Tickets in the game feature the television personality's image and the rooster-emblazoned logo from his Antique Archaeology stores in Nashville, Tenn. and LeClaire. Lottery players try to win a prize by matching any of "Your Numbers" to any "Mike's Winning Picks" numbers in the play area on each ticket. Those who find a rooster symbol win double the prize shown. The overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 3.74.

Eight top prizes of $50,000 are still up for grabs in Mike's Picks as well as 111 prizes of $1,000, and hundreds of prizes of $200 and $100.

Those who don't win a cash prize can enter their nonwinning tickets from the game into the Mike's Picks promotion for a chance to win a trip to Nashville or LeClaire and products from Iowa companies.

To enter the Play It Again promotion, Iowa Lottery players must join or already be members of the lottery's free VIP Club. Entries can be made through noon on June 30 and the promotion's drawings are set for July 1.

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