Howard Mauer Wins Top Prize of $50,000 Playing "Silver Bells" Scratch Game
DES MOINES, Iowa - A Waterloo man said he was never expecting to win the top prize of $50,000 when he decided to try out the lottery's new "Silver Bells" instant-scratch game.
Howard Mauer, 68, said he was shocked to win, especially since it was only his second time playing the Silver Bells game.
"I was standing in the garage on the work bench scratching them and I thought, 'No, it can't be,'" Mauer said.
Mauer said he immediately called his wife, Judy, to tell her the good news.
"She said, 'I know you're lying,'" Mauer said. "She said, 'What'd you get, twenty-five thousand?' I said, 'No, double that.'"
Mauer said Judy still thought he was joking, so she came home over her lunch break to see the ticket for herself. Mauer said he signed the ticket and hung onto it, but didn't get any sleep before claiming his prize Thursday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.
"My head was spinning and I kept thinking, 'Am I seeing that right?'"
Mauer also called his children to tell them the good news.
"I called my kids; three daughters and son-in-laws. They said, 'Oh, you're kidding me!' I told my son-in-law I wanted to buy some of his corn and sell it later," Mauer joked.
Mauer said he doesn't have any definite plans for his winnings yet, but he does know the win will make the holidays easier for him and his family.
Mauer purchased his winning ticket at Hy-Vee, 4000 University Ave. in Waterloo.