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Player Turns Minor Win Into Major Win

Gary Durand Wins Top Prize of $30,000 Playing "Crossword" Scratch Game

Gary Durand   Hear Gary tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - An Omaha, Neb. man said he never dreamed he'd win a top prize playing the lottery's "Crossword" instant-scratch game.

Gary Durand, 48, said he traded in his $8 winnings for a few more tickets, and ended up winning a $30,000 prize.

"I knew that I had at least nine words," Durand said. "And I called my wife and told her. I stopped into the gas station and had them check it and I was like, 'Wow.'"

Durand said he held tight to the ticket until he claimed his prize Tuesday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Council Bluffs.

"I was blown away by it," he said. "I had a death grip on that thing!"

Durand purchased his winning ticket at Quik Trip, 1749 W. Broadway in Council Bluffs. He said his wife, Carol, is excited about his win.

"She wants me to take this and enjoy it and be happy," he said.

Durand said he plans to use some of his winnings to fix up his truck, as well as catch up on a few bills.

"My truck just broke down so this came at a perfect time," he said.

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