Press Room

Retired Veteran Wins Big Lottery Prize

Jerry Christensen Wins Top Prize of $30,000 Playing the "Crossword" Scratch Game

Jerry Christensen   Hear Jerry tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A retired Marine from Britt was stunned when he discovered he'd won a top prize of $30,000 playing the lottery's "Crossword" instant-scratch game.

Jerry Christensen, 68, was playing a few pull-tab games at Hy-Vee, 2400 Fourth St. S.W. in Mason City when he decided to spend a few dollars on scratch tickets as well.

"I had a $5 and a $3 scratch-off and the rest were $2 ones," Christensen said. "I left my wife the two Crosswords and I scratched the others."

Christensen was taken aback by what his wife, Arlene, uncovered on one of her Crossword tickets.

"I said, 'I hope you have better luck than me!'" he said. "The next thing I know she says, 'Count how many words I have here.' And I couldn't believe it!"

Christensen said he's come close to winning big prizes on Iowa Lottery scratch tickets, but Arlene is the one who got lucky. He claimed his prize Friday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Mason City.

"I knew there were some on there, but I didn't know if it was really true or not," Christensen said.

Christensen and Arlene are planning to put the winnings into savings for now.

"We have a trip to Branson coming up in October," he said. "I was stationed in Missouri, so we go about every year."

Return to top↑