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Cedar Rapids Man Wins Top Prize Playing Favorite Ticket

Jeff Hendrickson Wins Top Prize of $30,000 Playing "Merry Crossword" Holiday Scratch Game

Jeff Hendrickson   Hear Jeff tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Cedar Rapids man said he thought he was going to have a heart attack when he discovered he'd won a $30,000 top prize playing the lottery's "Merry Crossword" instant-scratch game.

Jeff Hendrickson, 41, said the lottery's "Crossword" games have always been his favorite, but he never dreamed of winning the top prize.

"I thought I had had a heart attack," Hendrickson said. "It's always been one of my favorite tickets."

Hendrickson said he counted the words on his ticket at least ten times before he decided he needed to have it validated to know for sure.

"I took it up to Hy-Vee and they verified it," he said.

Hendrickson, who works for an optical warehouse company, purchased his winning ticket at Kum & Go, 30 Four Oaks Drive S.W. in Cedar Rapids.

"I told my wife right away and my son," Hendrickson said. "She screamed. It's so exciting for me."

Hendrickson said he and his wife, Suzanne, are planning to use some of the winnings to pay bills and make the holidays a little brighter.

"I just bought one ticket and won!" he said.

Hendrickson claimed his prize Monday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

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 ialottery.com. 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.