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Davenport Man Beyond Thrilled Over $30,000 Win

James Halligan Wins Top Prize Playing the "Crossword" Scratch Game

James Halligan   Hear James tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Davenport man revealed the last letter he needed on his "Crossword" instant-scratch ticket and won a $30,000 lottery prize.

"I just needed an 'E' and then it came up and I just jumped," James Halligan explained to lottery staff Friday as he claimed the 56th of 97 top prizes of $30,000 available in the lottery's Crossword scratch game. "I said, 'I just won a lot of money!'"

Halligan said he was at home with his girlfriend, Stephanie Baumer, and their 18-month-old son when he realized he'd won big.

"I was doing cartwheels and jumping around. And he was hollering with me," he said. "He didn't know why, but he was having a good time, too."

Halligan, 26, a laborer at Sampson Construction, said he called his boss right away to share the good news.

"He was beyond happy for me and had no problem with letting me have the day off today," Halligan explained as he claimed his prize at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

Halligan purchased his winning ticket at K & K Food and Gas, 2365 Rockingham Road in Davenport.

Halligan was letting the win soak in as he was deciding how to use his winnings.

"I even thought about putting a down payment on a house. I don't know yet," he said. "I might just go put it in my bank account and keep checking it every day for a while."

Crossword is a $3 scratch game. Players win a prize by uncovering at least three complete words in the ticket's puzzle. If a player uncovers 10 words, he/she wins $30,000. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.82.

Forty-one top prizes of $30,000 are still up for grabs in Crossword, as well as 64 prizes of $3,000 and thousands more prizes of $300 and $100.

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