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She'll Always Remember Cinco De Mayo: Des Moines Woman Wins $250,000 Prize

Barb Arrasmith Is Second Des Moines Southside Resident To Win Top Prize In "Lucky Diamonds"

Barb Arrasmith Barb Arrasmith poses with her ceremonial check.
  Hear Barb tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Des Moines woman says she'll always celebrate Cinco de Mayo after winning a $250,000 lottery prize while having lunch Wednesday with her co-workers to mark the Mexican celebration.

Barb Arrasmith won the top prize in the "Lucky Diamonds" instant-scratch game and claimed her $250,000 prize within about an hour. She said she was having trouble believing what she saw on her ticket and wanted the lottery to verify her good fortune.

"I may win $5 or $10 here and there, but never $250,000," Arrasmith said. "It is kind of nice to say."

Arrasmith, 49, who works as a quality assurance specialist at Sammons Annuity Group in West Des Moines, said she and her co-workers had lunch Wednesday at a local Mexican restaurant for Cinco de Mayo, then decided they needed fountain drinks afterwards, so they stopped at a nearby convenience store.

"They were buying Powerball and I decided to buy a Lucky Diamonds scratch ticket," she said. "I took it back to work and I was at my desk and I scratched it. And I could not believe what I thought I saw.

"So I asked some of my co-workers to come back and look at my ticket," she said. "And they were like, 'Why? What did you win? What did you win?' And then they said, 'Oh, my gosh! You won $250,000!' And I said, 'No, I didn't!' So I had to drive down here to the lottery to make it official."

Arrasmith bought her winning ticket at Quik Trip, 11925 University Ave. in Clive.

Her husband, Steve, drove her to lottery headquarters to claim her prize because she was feeling too shaky to make the trip on her own. Steve Arrasmith said his wife called him at work to share the news.

"So I went and told my boss and then I called her back and I said, 'Now, this isn't a joke, you're not kidding, are you?'" he said. "She said, 'No, no!' And I got in the truck and I drove. I think I called her three times in 15 minutes and I said, 'You're not kidding, right?' So, here we are!"

Barb Arrasmith said she occasionally plays Lucky Diamonds because she used to work with Russ Twelmeyer of Des Moines, who won the first top prize in the game in May 2009.

"I was very jealous of Russ when he won it," she said with a laugh. "So here and there, I buy the Lucky Diamonds to see if I can be as lucky as Russ. And today I am!"

Lucky Diamonds is a $10 scratch game. Players try to match any of "your numbers" to the "winning numbers" in the play area on each ticket. Players who find the "double diamond" symbol win double the prize shown. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.18.

Arrasmith claimed the seventh top prize in the game, leaving 10 top prizes of $250,000 still available. Fifty prizes of $5,000 also remain unclaimed in Lucky Diamonds along with more than 700 prizes of $500.

Arrasmith said she plans to use her winnings to pay off debts and plan for retirement.