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Couple Scratches Tickets Together For Fun, Wins $30,000 Prize

Jamie Luft Wins Top Prize Playing "Merry Crossword" Holiday Scratch Game

Jamie Luft   Hear Jamie tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Villisca man and his wife decided to purchase a few holiday scratch tickets to pass the time, and he ended up winning a top prize of $30,000 playing the lottery's "Merry Crossword" game.

Jamie Luft, 24, said he and his wife, Cassie, play the lottery every once in a while for fun, but never dreamed they'd win big.

"I had missed an "A" on one of my letters. I started marking down my words and I had ten words!" Luft said.

Luft said he was ecstatic when he discovered the big prize, because he doesn't typically consider himself a lucky person.

"This is the first time I've ever won anything in my life, honestly," he said.

Luft said Cassie thought he had scratched off an extra letter, so they took the ticket to a local retailer to have the ticket validated. He purchased the ticket at Villisca Foods, 509 S. Third Ave. in Villisca.

Luft said he has a one-year-old son and a child on the way, so this prize comes at a great time.

"[Our families] didn't believe us at first; we had to send them pictures," Luft said.

Luft, who does weatherization on houses for West Central Cooperative, said he plans to use some of his winnings to pay bills.

Luft claimed his prize Tuesday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Council Bluffs.

Players can "Super Tech" the Halls in the Iowa Lottery's Super Tech promotion this holiday season. All ten holiday instant-scratch tickets can be entered online for a chance to win one of 250 Sony® tech prizes or one of six "Super Prizes" valued at more than $4,900 each. The eligible tickets are: "Holiday Countdown," "Holiday Bonus Crossword," "Merry Crossword," "Lucky Elves Bingo," "Holiday Wishes," "Sparkling Winnings," "Betty Boop™," "Snow Bank," "Santa Games Doubler" and "Winter Bucks." To participate in Super Tech, a player must register for a free Iowa Lottery VIP Club account at Registration is a one-time process. All holiday tickets entered into Super Tech will also earn players "Points For Prizes™" points that can be used in the Iowa Lottery's online store.