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Dubuque Man Wins $30,000 Prize On New Year's Eve

Ronald Barkow Wins the Top Prize Playing "Crossword" Scratch Game

Ronald Barkow   Hear Ronald tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Dubuque man said he initially stopped scratching his "Crossword" instant-scratch ticket after uncovering enough words for a $300 win, but finally realized he'd won much more.

Ronald Barkow, 54, said there was about a three-hour period that he thought he'd only won $300 on his ticket.

"One more letter would make me the $30,000 winner so I really didn't think it was a $30,000 winner," he said. "And then finally I scratched the first bonus letter which gave me two more words and so yes, it was thirty thousand."

Barkow said he counted the words several times before he believed what he'd won. The next morning he took the ticket to a local retailer to have it validated as well.

"The first person I told was my twin brother," he said. "I have an identical twin brother that won three thousand on Crossword not too long ago!"

Barkow, who is a floral designer in Dubuque, said he considers himself a pretty lucky person.

"It's still surprising. It's pretty phenomenal. It's a great way to start a new year," Barkow said.

Barkow said he plans give some of his winnings to his family members as well as do some home renovating.

"One of my grandsons asked for fifty bucks," Barkow said with a laugh. "A lot of the people in the family won, though. It's going to be really good."