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Indianola Woman Wins Iowa's First $90,000 Prize In Hot Lotto

Karon McDowell Won Big Prize in Wednesday's Hot Lotto® Drawing

Karon McDowell   Hear Karon tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - An Indianola woman has won Iowa's first Hot Lotto prize of $90,000 in the newly revamped game.

Karon McDowell purchased a "3X the Sizzle" ticket for Wednesday's drawing. The 3X the Sizzle promotion allows players to purchase three Hot Lotto plays with the Sizzler option for $5 (a regular $6 value) and have the chance to enter a drawing for up to $500 in free gas.

McDowell said that she always adds the multipliers when she plays lotto games.

"You never buy a Powerball® without getting the Power Play®," she said. "You never get a Hot Lotto ticket without getting the Sizzler! It's real important."

McDowell, a telemarketer, claimed her prize Thursday at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines. She purchased her winning ticket at Hy-Vee, 910 N. Jefferson Way in Indianola.

"We've known a couple of people that have won. And I thought, 'Oh, wouldn't that be sweet to be one of those winners,'" McDowell said, now knowing how it feels. "It's awesome!"

McDowell's $90,000-winning ticket came close to winning it all in Wednesday's drawing, matching the first five numbers but missing the Hot Ball. The winning numbers in the $6.36 million Hot Lotto jackpot drawing that night were: 4-6-7-9-14 and Hot Ball 12.

McDowell, 64, said she wants to get a bit of financial advice on how best to use her winnings.

"It'd be a good idea to maybe get some advice. 'Cause at my age, I probably need some financial advice," she said. "But I do want to get my car paid off. 'Cause that I do know needs to be done."

Sales of the revamped Hot Lotto game began on May 12. The game now has an all-cash jackpot with withholding taxes paid, meaning that if the advertised jackpot is $2 million, the winner will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment for that full amount.

In addition to the change in the jackpot, several other prize levels in the game were also increased. The eight non-jackpot prize levels in the redesigned game range from $2 (unchanged) for matching the Hot Ball alone up to $30,000 (formerly $10,000) for matching the first five numbers but missing the Hot Ball. All nonjackpot prizes still triple with the additional $1 Sizzler option, meaning a player would win $90,000 for matching the first five numbers with the Sizzler option added.

Because McDowell had the Sizzler option on her ticket, she multiplied her $30,000 prize to $90,000.

"I can honestly say, although I'm kind of a nonbeliever, you know like, 'It happens to everybody else,'" McDowell said. "It can happen to you! It can!"

Hot Lotto players now choose five numbers from a pool of 47 and another number, called the Hot Ball, from a pool of 19. The Hot Lotto jackpot starts at $1 million and grows until someone wins it. Tickets in the game cost $1. Hot Lotto drawings are held at about 9:40 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays, just before the Powerball drawings.

The updated game was introduced with the 3X the Sizzle promotion for this spring and summer offering 85 prizes of free gas.

When a player purchases a 3X the Sizzle ticket during the promotion, the lottery terminal will automatically generate a bonus offer trailing ticket containing a special code the player can enter on the lottery website for a chance to win ethanol promotional checks for free fuel from the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Players can purchase 3X the Sizzle tickets from May 12 through July 13, and can enter the promotion until noon on July 23 at

The lottery will select 85 winners of ethanol checks in a drawing July 25. Fifty players will each win $100 in ethanol checks, 25 each will win $250 in checks and 10 each will win $500 in checks.

There was no jackpot winner in Wednesday's drawing. Saturday's estimated jackpot is $6.41 million.

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.

Players may visit the Iowa Lottery at 2323 Grand Ave. in Des Moines or go to one of the lottery's regional offices in Council Bluffs, Storm Lake, Mason City or Cedar Rapids to claim prizes.

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