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Iowa City Woman Uncovers 10 Words, Wins $30,000 Lottery Prize

Mary Michel Wins Top Prize Playing 'Let It Snow Crossword' Game

Mary Michel   Hear Mary tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - An Iowa City woman said she was in "disbelief" when she realized she had won a $30,000 top prize on her Iowa Lottery "Let It Snow Crossword" instant-scratch ticket.

"All of a sudden I'm like, 'There's a lot of words out here,'" Mary Michel, 52, said.

Michel uncovered 10 words on her scratch ticket to win a $30,000 top prize. She claimed the eighth of 33 top prizes available in the game.

Michel purchased her winning ticket Wednesday at On The Go BP, 2315 Muscatine Ave. in Iowa City. She claimed her prize the same day at the lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

Michel, who works at the University of Iowa, said her family was "very excited" when she shared the good news with them.

"They all want to know what I'm going to buy them," she said.

Michel said she and her husband, Donald, plan to use the lottery winnings to pay off bills.

Let It Snow Crossword is a $3 scratch game. Players win a prize by uncovering at least three complete words in the ticket's puzzle. If a player uncovers 10 words, he/she wins $30,000. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.82.

Twenty-four top prizes of $30,000 are still up for grabs in Let It Snow Crossword, as well as 39 prizes of $3,000, 547 prizes of $300 and thousands of prizes of $100.

Players can enter nonwinning Let It Snow Crossword scratch tickets online in the Gifts Galore Play It Again® promotion, which offers 310 Sony® electronics and cash prizes. When a player enters an eligible nonwinning scratch ticket in Gifts Galore, he or she will receive one entry in the drawing for the corresponding Sony® electronic or cash prize category. The deadline to enter is noon, Jan. 13. For rules and complete details, visit

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