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$30,000 Birthday Win Brings Marshall County Woman To Tears

Dawn Townsend Wins Top Prize of $30,000 Playing "Tropical Treasures" Scratch Game

Dawn Townsend
  Hear Dawn tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Marshall County woman's birthday wish came true when she won the top prize of $30,000 playing the "Tropical Treasures" scratch game.

Dawn Townsend, 47, of Le Grand, said she had an entire day of celebrating planned for her birthday, but winning $30,000 wasn't part of what she expected.

"I looked on the internet to see which tickets had the most prizes unclaimed and I saw that the Tropical Treasures still had a lot left," Townsend said. "I thought, 'Well, Hy-Vee in Marshalltown hasn't had a big winner in a while and I go there a lot, so I'll go there and get my tickets.'"

Townsend, who works as a clerk for Kwik Star in Marshalltown, bought her winning ticket at Hy-Vee, 802 S. Center St. in Marshalltown. She said she rarely plays, so she wasn't sure how to tell if she'd won a prize or not.

"I saw that I had three treasure chests and I'm thinking, 'It's my birthday and I really don't think that this could be happening,'" she said.

Townsend said she and her children had already had a big day planned, but they made time to stop at a local retailer to see if she had really won.

"We waited our turn and one of the gals wanted to run it because we had already called to see if we could have them run it. It made all the noise and I just started crying," Townsend said.

Once she had confirmed her win, Townsend told some of her family and friends about the win. She said they've told her it couldn't have happened to anyone better.

Townsend is also familiar with another big winner from Marshalltown. She said she's good friends with Ricky Rushton, who won $1 million playing Powerball in February 2009.

"I think he's enjoying it. He bought a house and is spoiling his wife," Townsend laughed. "He really deserved it."

Townsend said the win comes as a big surprise, but at a really great time. She said she's planning to use some of her winnings to pay bills, and she's been sleeping just fine.

"I don't know if it really hit me. I've been sleeping just fine, but with a big smile on my face," she said.

Townsend claimed her prize Tuesday, April 20, at the Iowa Lottery's headquarters in Des Moines.