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Series Of Strange Events Leads To Happy Ending For Cedar Rapids Woman

Kami Chipley Wins Top Prize of $30,000 Playing "Crossword" Scratch Game

Kami Chipley   Hear Kami tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - At first, a Cedar Rapids woman didn't think she was having a very good day, until her luck changed when she won a top prize of $30,000 playing the lottery's "Crossword" instant-scratch game.

Kami Chipley, 47, said she had had a bad day at work, had forgotten to order a pizza and wasn't looking forward to a long night ahead of her. But when she purchased a Crossword scratch ticket, her night took a turn for the better.

"I had to order the pizza while I was there so I had to wait, which is why I got the tickets," she said.

While she was scratching her tickets at Casey's, 641 Edgewood Road in Cedar Rapids, Chipley was paid a visit from a stranger.

"There was this man who was staring at me," Chipley said. "It kind of creeped me out a little bit. But he came in the store and came over to me and he kind of held his hand over two of the tickets and said, 'Oh, these are winners.'"

Chipley's pizza was ready before she was finished scratching her tickets, so she was actually at home when she discovered she'd won the top prize.

"I started counting my words and I thought I counted ten," Chipley said. "I just handed it to my husband very casually and we ended up counting like 17 times! It was so strange that it happened the way it did."

Chipley said when she claimed her prize Jan. 19 at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids that the news hadn't really set in yet. She hadn't told anyone else other than her husband, Tooker.

"I have the check and the pictures to prove it, so I hope they'll all believe me when I tell them," she said.

Chipley, who is a senior administrative assistant for Rockwell Collins, said she hadn't yet made plans for her winnings.

"We're going to the Caribbean this year, so maybe I'll use some of it for that," she said.