Press Room

Random Ticket Choice Lands Clinton Man $30,000 Lottery Prize

Edward Meeker Wins the Top Prize Playing "Crossword" Scratch Game

Edward Meeker   Hear Edward tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Clinton man made a random ticket purchase and ended up winning the top prize of $30,000 playing the "Crossword" instant-scratch game.

Edward Meeker, 31, said he only plays the lottery every once in a while and doesn't really have a favorite ticket. So when he saw the man in front of him at Hy-Vee Gas, 809 S. Fourth St. in Clinton, pick up a few Crossword tickets, he decided to get the next one on the roll.

"The guy in front of me bought 10, so I just bought the next one," Meeker said.

Meeker, who is an iron worker for Centurion Industries, took the ticket home to scratch it, but he was alone when he discovered his win. He didn't waste any time getting the ticket validated to make sure he could believe what he was seeing.

"Looked at it about 10, 15 times and then I walked back to the gas station and turned it in," Meeker said. "I wanted to make sure I'd won that much!"

Meeker claimed his prize Thursday, the same day he purchased the ticket, at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

He said he plans to use some of his winnings to buy new windows for his home but hasn't made plans for the rest. He said his family and friends are all very excited for him.

"They were like, 'Yeah, right!'" Meeker said.