Press Room

Emmet County Man Tries New Scratch Game, Wins $50,000 Prize

Thomas Bauler Wins Top Prize in New 'Mike's Picks' Scratch Game

Thomas Bauler   Hear Thomas tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - An Emmet County man said he decided to purchase an instant-scratch ticket during a recent stop for gas and the decision paid off.

Thomas Bauler of Wallingford purchased a "Mike's Picks" scratch ticket at Casey's, 1615 Central Ave. in Estherville and ended up winning the second of nine top prizes of $50,000 available in the game.

The Emmet County Sheriff's Deputy said he knew he had a winning ticket, but wasn't expecting it to be worth $50,000.

"I scratched it and I'm like, 'Ah, it just looks like five bucks,'" Bauler said to lottery employees as he claimed his prize Friday at the lottery's regional office in Storm Lake. "Kept going and I'm like, 'Whoa!' Looked at my daughter and said, 'Hey we just won!'"

Bauler, 38, said he chose Mike's Picks because it was a new game and he wanted to try it.

"I've never known anybody that actually won," he said. "I see it all the time, people winning. It's like, 'Ah, it's never going to be me, but (I) made it for my bucket list.'"

Bauler and his wife, Melanie, said the lottery winnings will be used to pay bills.

Mike's Picks is a $5 scratch game. Tickets in the game feature expert collectibles picker and television personality Mike Wolfe, 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.

Six top prizes of $50,000 are still up for grabs in Mike's Picks as well as 102 prizes of $1,000, 129 prizes of $200 and 242 prizes of $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.

Return to top↑