Ronnie Stewart Wins First Top Prize of $25,000 Playing "The Silver Ticket" Scratch Game
DES MOINES, Iowa - A Burlington man bought "The Silver Ticket" scratch ticket one day after its debut and won the first top prize of $25,000.
Ronnie Stewart, 25, said the prize will definitely help some of his dreams come true. Stewart is engaged and he and his fiancé, Andrea Trousil, will finally be able to have their dream wedding.
"It just didn't feel real. Now the plans probably moved up," Stewart said. "We kept putting it off because we wanted to go to Jamaica and could never seem to find the funds, and now everything is falling into place."
Stewart said when he walked into Hy-Vee Gas, 3140 Agency in Burlington, he wasn't planning on buying a lottery ticket, but The Silver Ticket caught his eye and he couldn't pass it up.
"I couldn't even read the name of the ticket when I purchased it. It was just shiny and was on the bottom of the ticket rack and I said, 'Give me two of those,'" Stewart said. "I'm scratching them off about thirty minutes later and the very first one I scratched - twenty-five thousand!"
Stewart said he couldn't believe his eyes when he discovered the prize, so he turned to his son, Isaiah, for a second opinion.
"I was like, 'Am I seeing this right? Is that a twenty-three and a twenty-three with a twenty-five thousand on it?' And I noticed his eyes got big and I thought, 'Okay, I'm not dreaming,'" he said.
Stewart said when he confirmed his win with his son, he was so excited he threw the coin he had been scratching the ticket with and it hit Trousil in the arm.
"She said, 'Why did you just hit me with that? That hurt!' And I said, 'I just won $25,000!' And she was like, 'You're lying.' So she didn't believe me, so I showed her the ticket and it finally soaked in and she said, 'We've got to go the gas station. I want to see this for sure,'" Stewart said.
Stewart said the whole family jumped in the car to go back to the gas station to have the ticket validated.
"I think the guy that sold it to me was ecstatic for the whole day," he said. "He couldn't believe he sold a $25,000 ticket."
Stewart said he had a tough time sleeping after his big win.
"The blood is just rushing through my body. I just sat up wondering," he said.
Stewart said aside from his immediate family, he's told his mother and two brothers about his win. He said no one believes him at first.
Stewart said he and Trousil plan to use some of their winnings to pay for their wedding as well as take their two children to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. He claimed his prize Wednesday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.