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Business Trip Puts One Man In The Right Place At The Right Time

Winning $30,000 "Crossword" Scratch Ticket Sold in Pella

Robert Androyna   Hear Robert tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Nebraska man visiting Pella was in the right place at the right time when he bought a lottery ticket at a convenience store there.

Robert Androyna from Exeter, Neb., won the top prize of $30,000 in the lottery's "Crossword" instant-scratch game.

Androyna, 41, explained that the winning scratch ticket was mistakenly added to his other purchases, but he decided to buy it anyway.

"I told her that it wasn't mine, and she said, 'Well, I can void it.' And I said, 'No, it's only three bucks, go ahead and leave it on there,'" he said.

Androyna purchased his winning ticket at Casey's, 414 S. Clark St. in Pella.

He said he scratched the ticket, but since he isn't a regular lottery player, he wasn't sure if he had won. He put the ticket in his car and had it checked at another stop along the road. A clerk at a convenience store in Adair gave Androyna the good news.

"She told me that it was a winner, that I would not be able to get it cashed there - that I'd have to take it to the lottery headquarters, and I said, 'Why?' and she said, 'Well, because it's $30,000!' And I'm like, 'Oh my!'" Androyna explained to lottery staff as he claimed his prize Monday at the Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines.

But he didn't get overly excited after learning of his big win.

"I'm a pretty low-key guy and won money is always great money. Any money is all great money. I don't get too wound up about things," he said.

Androyna said his family plans a trip each year. This year they'll be going to Ireland for Christmas, and he'll use some of his winnings to make that trip special.

Androyna was in Iowa on business: he sells arms to the military and law enforcement and owns several gun stores.

After spending 13 years in special operations with the military and surviving multiple serious injuries, Androyna said he's always considered himself lucky.

"I've never been sick a day in my life and things just always tend to fall in place for me. I tend to be in the right place at the right time all through life," he said.