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Humboldt County Man Wins $10,000 Early Birthday Gift Playing New Ticket

Jon Matteson Wins First Top Prize Playing "Great State Tailgate" Scratch Game

Jon Matteson   Hear Jon tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Humboldt County man won himself a $10,000 birthday gift when he discovered he'd won the first top prize playing the lottery's new "Great State Tailgate" instant-scratch game.

Jon Matteson turns 59 on Sept. 11, but never dreamed he'd have $10,000 to celebrate with.

"I stopped after work for some iced tea and I bought two of these new tickets," Matteson said. "The first ticket was a $4 winner and the next one was a $10,000 winner!"

Matteson, who is from Thor, said he typically likes to play the lottery's "Crossword" scratch game, but the cashier at Sparky's, Hwy. 3 & 169 in Humboldt, recommended he try the new game.

"I really didn't believe it. I had to drive down to a neighboring town to have it verified," Matteson said.

Matteson said when he stopped to have his ticket validated, he gave the cashier at the convenience store quite a shock.

"She said, 'Just sign the back there and I'll check it for you,'" he said. "And I said, 'Well, it's a $10,000 winner.' And she just stood there with her mouth hanging open."

After having the ticket validated, Matteson called his wife on his way home. He said she told him he better not wreck on the way home. Matteson has also told his children about his big win.

"They were pretty excited," Matteson said. "I think they'll help us spend it."

Matteson, who works for Sande Construction in Humboldt, said he has plenty of ideas of what to do with his winnings, but hasn't settled on one yet.

Matteson claimed his prize Friday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Mason City.

Great State Tailgate is a $2 scratch game. Players win a prize by matching any of "your numbers" to any "winning numbers" on the ticket. If they find the "goal post" symbol, they win that prize instantly. If players find the "2X" symbol, they win double the prize shown.

Matteson claimed the first of 14 top prizes in Great State Tailgate. There are 131 prizes of $800 up for grabs in the game, as well as 787 prizes of $80.

Players can enter eligible non-winning Great State Tailgate scratch tickets online to earn "Points For Prizes™" points as well as be entered into the Great State Tailgate promotion where players have a chance to win the grand prize which is a totally tricked-out, customizable towable tailgate valued at more than $22,000. Players also have the chance to win one of five first place prizes of $1,000. The deadline to enter the Great State Tailgate promotion is noon, Dec. 6.

The Points For Prizes point value will be revealed to the player on the website upon successful submission of each eligible valid ticket. There is a limit of 30 ticket entries per day. To participate in Points For Prizes and the Great State Tailgate promotion, a player must register for a free account at Registration is a one-time process. Merchandise that can be ordered by using points will be listed on the website in the Points For Prizes online store. Players can choose from items in categories such as apparel, automotive, jewelry, sporting, tools and more.