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Council Bluffs Woman Shares $30,000 Win With Grandchildren

Carmen Rocha Wins Top Prize Playing "Crossword" Scratch Game

Carmen Rocha
  Hear Carmen tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - After sending her granddaughter to the convenience store to pick her up some "Crossword" scratch tickets, a Council Bluffs woman was able to share the excitement of her $30,000 win with her family.

Carmen Rocha, 63, said as her two granddaughters watched, she scratched the tickets and discovered her win.

"We were so shocked. They said, 'Are you sure? Look again. Count 'em!'" Rocha said. "They said, 'Grandma, you won $30,000!' I couldn't believe it. I was shocked. I've been a nervous wreck ever since!"

Rocha said she wasn't sure what to do after she won, so she called the Iowa Lottery hotline to figure out the next step. Rocha won after business hours, so she was instructed to take the ticket to the nearest lottery office the following day.

Rocha claimed her prize April 9 at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Council Bluffs. Her son and grandson accompanied her to claim her prize.

"Those are my guards," Rocha laughed. "They're high security. And I have to pay them."

Rocha said she's told most of her family and friends about her win and they're all excited for her.

"They're shocked. And then of course they say, 'Hey you're my favorite!' Everybody's got a list," she said.

Rocha said she enjoys doing crossword puzzles in the newspaper, and that's what led her to enjoy playing the Crossword scratch game. She said she plans to continue playing.

"I may win another one, right? They say it's once in a lifetime, but you never know!" Rocha said.

Rocha, who is retired, plans to put some of her winnings away as well as buy her grandchildren a few gifts and take the whole family to dinner.

Rocha's winning ticket was purchased at Eddy's, 611 E. Broadway in Council Bluffs.