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Iowa City Woman Sits Down With Favorite Ticket For Fun, Wins Top Prize

Marilyn Cermak Wins Top Prize of $30,000 Playing the "Crossword" Scratch Game

Marilyn Cermak   Hear Marilyn tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - When an Iowa City woman sat down to scratch her favorite lottery ticket, she never dreamed she'd win a top prize of $30,000.

Marilyn Cermak, 81, said she was alone on her couch when she discovered she'd won a top prize playing the lottery's "Crossword" instant-scratch game.

"I kept looking at it and it was looking like more and more letters were going to be there," Cermak said. "Then an 'E' popped up in the bonus section and I knew it was big."

Cermak immediately called down her husband, Joseph, to look at the ticket.

"He counted and said, 'Oh, there's nine.' And I said, 'No, no, don't tell me that!'" Cermak said. "Yesterday I took it to the store and I knew it was ten words."

Cermak purchased her winning ticket at Hy-Vee, 1201 N. Dodge St. in Iowa City. The clerks there are a few of the only people she has told.

"My son-in-law gave me a ride to Cedar Rapids, so he knows. But that's it," Cermak said when she claimed her prize Aug. 21 at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

Cermak said she's going to take some time to decide how to use her winnings, but she's planning on continuing to play her favorite lottery game.

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