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Cerro Gordo County Man Claims Prize On One Month Wedding Anniversary

John Anderson Wins Top Prize of $50,000 Playing "Holiday Crossword" Scratch Game

John Anderson   Hear John tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Cerro Gordo County man said he was in disbelief and his new wife was shaking when they discovered they'd won the top prize of $50,000 playing the lottery's "Holiday Crossword" instant-scratch game.

John Anderson of Ventura said he and his wife of one month, Megan, were on their way to a family dinner when he decided to pick up a few scratch tickets.

"As soon as I got in the car I said, 'You do not touch my tickets,'" Anderson joked. "I was on my third to last one and she reached over and took it and started scratching it off; the next thing I knew her whole body was shaking."

Anderson said his wife asked him to count the words, but he wasn't quite convinced they'd won the top prize.

"I thought she'd scratched off one letter she shouldn't have," he said.

Anderson immediately took the ticket back to Ventura Mart, 1 N. Weimer St. in Ventura, to have it validated.

"No words can describe it, to be perfectly honest. I was just speechless," he said.

Anderson and his wife were married exactly one month prior to claiming the prize. He said they plan to use some of the winnings to help pay off a home they just purchased as well as putting new windows in the house.

Anderson claimed his prize Monday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Mason City.