Linda Gegenheimer Wins Top Prize Playing the "Crossword" Scratch Game
DES MOINES, Iowa - An Oxford woman said it took her a minute to catch her breath after she discovered she'd won $30,000 playing the "Crossword" instant-scratch game.
Linda Gegenheimer, 62, said she never dreamed she'd be the winner of the top prize.
"First I was just trying to breathe. And then I just got really excited thinking of the things we could do," Gegenheimer said.
Gegeheimer said she sent her husband, Patrick to pick up the tickets for her. As she was scratching them, she thought she'd uncovered nine words. When she recounted, though, she discovered she'd won a much bigger prize than she'd thought.
"First I thought I had nine. We were really excited about that. And we kept counting and counting and then I called my daughter and made her count and we were just really excited," she said.
Gegenheimer and her husband are foster parents to four children. She said all the children were very excited for them.
Patrick took the ticket to be validated at a convenience store where they knew the clerks. She said the clerk who ran the ticket started crying when she ran the ticket through the machine.
Gegenheimer said she plans to continue playing Crossword, which is her favorite game.
"I may never win another big prize, but I never expected to win one anyway, so it's just fun," she said.
Gegeheimer and Patrick plan to use the winnings to finish remodeling a log cabin they just purchased to use as a family getaway.
"They know we're going to get it done quicker now. We want to share it with the family. We couldn't have finished this year without this," she said.
Gegenheimer claimed her prize Monday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids. The winning ticket was purchased at Kum & Go, 610 N. Kansas Ave. in North Liberty.