Michelle Bristol Wins Top Prize Playing "Merry Crossword" 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 - An Anamosa woman had big plans for her $30,000 "Merry Crossword" winnings, including helping out an ill family member and surprising others over the holidays.
Michelle Bristol, 40, claimed her lottery prize a while ago, but asked Lottery staff to hold off on releasing her story so she could surprise her husband and son with the good news.
"My daughter and I are the only ones that know," she said in the lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids on Dec. 19. "We're going to surprise my husband and son Christmas morning."
Bristol was alone when she scratched her Merry Crossword ticket. As she counted her words, her excitement started to build.
"I counted again and again and again," Bristol said. "I immediately signed it, and when I picked my daughter up from work, I had it scanned."
Bristol said when the clerk confirmed the win, she couldn't hold back her emotions.
"I just started screaming and crying and hugging the clerk," Bristol said.
Bristol and her daughter were giddy as they drove home that night, talking about how to use the winnings.
"This is going to make a difference in a lot of lives," Bristol said tearfully. "My sister has MS and my niece has been doing everything they can to support both of them. So as soon as I leave this office, I'm going to the bank and sending some money to my sister."
Bristol and her daughter were also going to adopt a needy family for the holiday.
"I believe in putting good karma out, so good karma comes back," she said. "The first thing I thought of when I won it was giving to other people."
Bristol, who is a carpenter, purchased her winning ticket at Kum & Go, 3350 Seventh Ave. in Marion.
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.