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Council Bluffs Man Wins $100,000 Prize Playing Own Numbers

Jerry Paulsen Wins Top Prize Playing "Iowa's $100,000 Cash Game"

Jerry Paulsen   Hear Jerry tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Council Bluffs man got an early morning surprise when he discovered he'd won a top prize of $100,000 playing Iowa's $100,000 Cash Game while eating his breakfast.

Jerry Paulsen, 61, said he sat down at the breakfast table to check his numbers, but couldn't believe his eyes.

"My wife was downstairs on the phone with my niece when I showed her," Paulsen said. "She couldn't believe it at first."

Paulsen, who works in the safety department at Union Pacific Railroad, won over Father's Day weekend, and was anxious to claim his prize June 18 at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Council Bluffs.

"I thought, 'Well, there's nothing I can do now because today's Saturday and I can't claim it until Monday,'" Paulsen said.

Paulsen said this win is exciting for him, because he plays his own numbers rather than using easy picks. The numbers were a combination of his children's birthdays.

"I've been playing those numbers for 20 years," Paulsen said.

The winning numbers for the drawing on June 15 were: 5-10-18-21-23. Paulsen matched all five numbers to win the top prize. He purchased his winning ticket at D & S Express, 2924 N. Broadway in Council Bluffs.

Paulsen said he and his wife are planning to save his winnings.

"At this stage of our lives we're pretty mellow," Paulsen said. "We've already got all of our stuff."

Players in Iowa's $100,000 Cash Game choose five numbers from a pool of 35. Tickets in the game cost $1 and drawings are held at 8:28 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The odds of winning the game's top prize are 1 in 324,632.

Winning numbers may be checked at the lottery website at or through the winning numbers' hot line at (515) 323-4633. Winning numbers may also be checked with lottery retail outlets or by calling the lottery at (515) 725-7900 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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