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Waukon Woman's Win Helps Sick Daughter Feel Better

Michelle Gress Wins Top Prize of $25,000 Playing "Bingo Night" Scratch Game

Michelle Gress   Hear Michelle tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Waukon woman said she purchased a "Bingo Night" scratch ticket to pass the time while she was home with her sick child. Discovering she'd won the top prize of $25,000 made both of them feel pretty good.

Michelle Gress, 31, said she stopped at a convenience store on her way home with her daughter, who was sent home ill on her fourth day of school, and picked up a Bingo Night ticket with her purchases.

"The first one I scratched was the winner. I didn't even get done scratching the ticket when I saw the "X" at the bottom of the ticket," she said.

Gress, who is a medical secretary at Franciscan Skemp Healthcare in Waukon, said she doesn't play very often, but knew she had won something big. She went back to the convenience store to have the ticket validated.

"She ran it through and it said twenty-five thousand. It was just unreal," Gress said.

Gress said she made sure the clerk who sold her the ticket was the one to validate it. She said the clerk was very excited to have sold her the winning ticket.

"Things were just going through my head. 'What can we do with it?'" Gress said.

Gress said she plans to use her winnings to put a down payment on a house. She said she also plans to continue to play the Bingo Night game.

"It's my favorite ticket right now," she said with a laugh.

Gress claimed her prize Tuesday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Mason City. She purchased her winning ticket at Kwik Star, 101 Rossville Road in Waukon.