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Dubuque Man's Luck Is Changing

Stephen Maiers Wins the Top Prize Playing "Crossword" Scratch Game

Stephen Maiers
  Hear Stephen tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Dubuque man said he's never considered himself a lucky person until he won the top prize of $30,000 playing the lottery's "Crossword" instant-scratch game.

Stephen Maiers, 59, said he purchased a few different lottery tickets after winning a small prize. He happened to win the top prize on the very first Crossword ticket on the roll.

"I kept scratching and more words kept filling in and I still had letters left!" said Maiers.

Maiers said he initially thought he had won a $3,000 prize, but a friend realized he'd forgotten to scratch one of the letters.

"I was numb!" Maiers said. "I'm not a lucky person. Nothing this good has happened to me my whole life."

Maiers said he was planning a fishing trip with his friend when he discovered his win.

"We went fishing, but my heart wasn't in it!" Maiers said. "I'm the lucky one this time and it feels good."

Maiers had his ticket validated at Family Mart and Deli, 3201 Central Ave. in Dubuque, which is where he purchased it. He said everyone he's told is very excited about his win.

"They told me congratulations and said, 'Good for you,'" Maiers said.

Maiers, who works for Eagle Window & Door in Dubuque, said he had a tough night sleeping before he claimed his prize April 8 at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

"I was just excited; I couldn't sleep very well," Maiers said.

Maiers said he plans to use some of his winnings to pay bills as well as purchase a newer vehicle.