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Independence Man Wins More Than Expected

Robert Armstead Wins Top Prize of $30,000 Playing the "Crossword" Scratch Game

Robert Armstead   Hear Robert tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - An Independence man thought he'd won a few hundred dollars, but came away with the top prize of $30,000 in the lottery's "Crossword" instant-scratch game.

Robert Armstead thought he'd only won a $300 prize at first.

"I just thought we had eight words on this ticket," he said. "So then my step daughter found the ninth one."

Armstead's fiancée, Traci Wilson, took the ticket in to have it validated and was stunned to hear even better news, they had all ten words to win the top prize.

"The guy says, 'I can't cash it here. [It's] a little big, too many zeroes,'" laughed Armstead, a truck driver for Innovative Ag Services in Monticello.

Armstead said the timing couldn't be better.

"We're getting married in one week," he said. "And [we have] the graduation for the step-daughter this Saturday. So, that all came in at about the right time."

Armstead believes his fiancée had a little help in picking out the ticket.

"One of my best friends is not with us anymore, but he liked to play scratch tickets all the time," he said. "I think he helped her pick it out."

Armstead, 51, claimed his prize Monday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids. He purchased his winning ticket at Music Station, 709 W. First St. in Independence. It's the same store that sold another $30,000 winning Crossword ticket to Linda Moore from Independence, just two months earlier.