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Pottawattamie County Man Celebrates Win With Daughter

Justin Ring Wins Top Prize of $30,000 Playing the "Crossword" Scratch Game

Justin Ring   Hear Justin tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Pottawattamie County man was at the grocery store when he decided to buy a "Crossword" instant-scratch ticket on a whim and ended up winning the top prize.

Justin Ring, 26, said he decided to scratch the ticket while at the park with his daughter, Emmie, and was shocked when he continued to uncover word after word.

"Started scratching it off and all of a sudden the pieces started coming together," Ring said. "I started counting them up and was like, 'This isn't right!'"

Ring, who is a railcar inspector for Watco Mechanical Services in Council Bluffs, said he immediately called his mom and dad to come to the park and check the ticket themselves. After that, he took it back to the retailer to have it validated.

"[He] just had this blank look on his face, so I started jumping up and down and shouting, 'Yeah!'" Ring said.

Ring said he called so many people to tell them the good news his phone died, but he said his five-year-old daughter's reaction was one of the best.

"She said, 'Now we can buy anything we want!'" Ring said with a laugh.

Ring plans to use some of his winnings to pay his student loans, as well as take a small vacation. He also plans to start a college fund for his daughter.

Ring, who is from Minden, claimed his prize Aug. 16 at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Council Bluffs. He purchased his winning ticket at Michel's Minden Grocery, 300 Main St. in Minden.