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Buena Vista County Man Wins Top Prize Playing Favorite Game

Bruce Nelson Wins the Top Prize of $30,000 Playing the "Crossword" Scratch Game

Bruce Nelson   Hear Bruce tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Buena Vista County man said he almost stopped scratching his top-prize-winning "Crossword" ticket too early because he thought he hadn't won anything.

Bruce Nelson, 48, said he scratched his Crossword ticket quickly and didn't realize he'd won the top prize of $30,000 until he looked again.

"I kept scratching it and thought, 'Well, I've got $3,000, that's not bad.' And then I continued on and I thought, 'Well wait a second, I think I do have 10 words!'" Nelson said.

Nelson, who works as a technician for an auto dealership, said after triple-checking the ticket, he handed it to a friend to check for him as well.

"Happy; that's pretty much it. I was happy," he said.

Nelson, who is from Alta, scratched his Crossword ticket over the Labor Day holiday and said he didn't get any sleep before claiming his prize Tuesday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Storm Lake.

Nelson said he's told a few people at work about his win and plans to tell the rest of his friends and family soon.

"They looked at it and said, 'Well, you've got 3,000 here,'" he said. "And I said, 'No, look again. There's another zero there!'"

Nelson plans to share some of his winnings with his kids and said he plans to be conservative with the rest.

He purchased his winning ticket at One Stop Shop, 1101 N. Lake Ave. in Storm Lake.