Anthony Sharp Wins Top Prize Playing "Holiday Wishes" Holiday Scratch Game
To download image, right click on image, then navigate to 'Save Picture As' to save this file to your computer. To download digital audio files of this story, right click here, then navigate to "Save Target As" to save this file to your computer.
DES MOINES, Iowa - After receiving a "Holiday Wishes" scratch ticket from his boss as a gift, a Knoxville man played the game for the first time and won a top prize of $50,000.
Anthony 'Tony' Sharp, 46, said he's usually a Powerball player, but is glad his boss decided to give out scratch tickets this year. Sharp is a lead quality assurance inspector for Revstone Casting in Fairfield.
"I got through the first two lines with no matches," Sharp said. "Then I matched two 18s and it said $50,000 and I was just blown away."
The first person Sharp called was his girlfriend, Brenda Kinger.
"The first thing I said was, 'You're lying to me.' I didn't believe it," said Kinger.
When Kinger returned home from the store, she and Sharp took the ticket to a local retailer to have it validated.
"I kind of got a little out of hand at Hy-Vee because I was so excited," Kinger said with a laugh. "Nothing like this has ever happened before. Everybody told us congratulations."
Sharp said the cashier who validated the ticket was also so excited, she gave Sharp a high-five.
"He's done a lot for a lot of people, so it's his turn now," Kinger said.
Sharp called his boss to thank him for the gift.
"He didn't believe me when I told him why I wouldn't be in," Sharp said as he claimed his prize Wednesday at the Iowa Lottery's headquarters in Des Moines. "I still don't think he believes me."
Sharp and Kinger were in disbelief that out of the nine tickets Sharp's boss gave out, he got the big winner.
"It's almost like Willy Wonka and the Golden Ticket," Kinger said.
Sharp said he plans to use some of his winnings to pay bills, as well as possibly take a trip somewhere warm.
The ticket was purchased at Jet Stop, 120 E. Burlington Road in Fairfield.
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.