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Woman Gets $30,000 New Year's Surprise

Cynthia Vargas Wins the Top Prize Playing "Crossword" Scratch Game

Cynthia Vargas   Hear Cynthia tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Rock Island, IL woman had a lot to celebrate when she discovered she had won a $30,000 Iowa Lottery prize a couple days before the New Year.

Cynthia Vargas, 26, said she and her husband stopped at a local retailer for a few other things when they decided to pick up a "Crossword" instant-scratch ticket.

"My husband is the one who usually scratches them. He told me what we won and I couldn't believe it!" Vargas said.

Vargas had to hold on to her winning ticket over the New Year's holiday before claiming her prize at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids on Monday.

"We've been a little anxious," she said.

Vargas said she's told a few family members and friends, but most people don't believe her.

"My mom couldn't believe it. She said, 'Oh you're kidding me.' And I said, 'Mother, here's the ticket - look at it!'" Vargas said.

Vargas said she plans to use some of her winnings to purchase a new vehicle. She purchased her winning ticket at Sara Mini Mart, 1026 W. River Drive in Davenport.