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Happy Birthday, Indeed! Waterloo Woman Wins $30,000 Lottery Prize

Patty Jensen Wins the Top Prize Playing "Crossword" Scratch Game

Patty Jensen   Hear Patty tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Waterloo woman had a very happy birthday after purchasing a "Crossword" instant-scratch ticket and winning the top prize of $30,000.

Patty Jensen, 53, said it was her birthday and she had just received her tax return, so she decided to buy herself a few Crossword tickets, but she never dreamed she'd win the top prize.

"I thought I had just won three thousand. I counted and re-counted and called up my niece," Jensen said. "I said, 'Jenny, I think I just won three thousand dollars,' and she didn't believe me. And she said, 'Aunt Patty, I think you've got ten words, which is thirty thousand!'"

Jensen, her daughter and her niece were so excited they took the ticket back to Prime Mart, 3535 Marigold Drive in Waterloo, where she purchased the ticket to validate it.

"We had four crying women in the store," she said.

Jensen has told her other close friends and family about the win as well, and said they all said it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.

Jensen works as a security officer for the Isle Casino and Hotel in Waterloo, so she said she plays the lottery every once in a while for entertainment.

"It's my play time and I don't play real often," she said.

Jensen said she plans to use some of her winnings to invest in her home and plans to purchase new tires for her car.

Jensen claimed her prize Thursday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.