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Norwalk Man Wins $50,000 Lottery Prize At Iowa State Fair

Joe Dooley Wins Top Prize Playing the "7" Scratch Game

Joe Dooley   Hear Joe tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Norwalk man never thought he'd win big while enjoying time with his family at the Iowa State Fair.

But Joe Dooley, 50, decided to purchase a "7" instant-scratch ticket from the Iowa Lottery's booth in the Varied Industries Building and ended up winning a top prize of $50,000.

"I won $15 so I said, 'What the heck, give me one of the 7s,'" Dooley said. "The second number I scratched off won and I said, 'Hey, I think I've done pretty good!'"

Dooley, who is an inside sales representative for a firm in Des Moines, was standing with his daughter, Michelle, when he scratched the ticket. He decided to have it validated at the Lottery booth before sharing the news with his wife, Deanne.

"The young lady says, 'Huh, looks like you're going to have to fill out the IRS claim. Oh, my! That's a big one!'" Dooley said. "I walked over and my wife was doing the pull-tabs. My oldest daughter, Jill, said, 'I'm pretty excited, I just won $11!' So I said, 'Well, I did a little better than that.'"

Dooley, Deanne, his two daughters and his granddaughter headed straight to the Iowa Lottery's headquarters office in Des Moines on Friday to claim the prize.

"I figured we'd go to the Iowa Lottery office, collect our money and go back to have a pretty good day at the Fair," Dooley said with a laugh.

Dooley said he was trying to remain calm, but his family was having a hard time keeping in their excitement.

"It's a wonderful thing," Dooley said. "I've had a few wins here and there, but nothing of this magnitude. It's a great day."

Dooley said he was planning to use some of his winnings to pay bills and have a fabulous time at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

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