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Greenfield Woman Wins $500,000 Lottery Prize

Elaine Hess Wins Top Prize Playing Iowa Lottery's '500 Grand' Scratch Game

Elaine Hess   Hear Elaine tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A stop to buy snacks led to a $500,000 lottery prize for an Adair County woman.

"I was on my way to work and I stopped to get some potato chips, so I picked up a couple of tickets," Elaine Hess of Greenfield said as she claimed her big prize Monday. "I was scratching them off and I had a matching number. And I scratched it off and I thought I won $500. And then I saw the comma and knew that I needed to scratch a little further, and there were three more zeroes. And I almost fainted!"

Hess, 69, a nurse at a Des Moines hospital, claimed the fourth of eight top prizes of $500,000 available in the Iowa Lottery's "500 Grand" instant-scratch game. She claimed her prize at lottery headquarters in Des Moines and had purchased her winning ticket at Quik Trip, 1000 E. University Ave. in Des Moines.

Hess said she bought her winning ticket on Saturday, which just happened to be her 24th wedding anniversary, so she joked that it was a nice anniversary present. She played the ticket while on break at work and then waited to tell her husband until she got home.

"I wanted to see the look on his face," she said. "I asked him if he wanted to do something exciting tomorrow, and he said, 'What?' And I said, 'How about buying a new pickup?' And he said, 'I can't afford a new pickup.' And I said, 'Well, you can now!' He was kind of in shock, too."

Hess said that she also enjoyed sharing the fun news with their two sons and a couple of her friends.

"I texted my youngest son and I said I won 500,000," she said. "And he texted me back and he said, 'Dollars?'"

"500 Grand" is a $20 scratch game. If players match any "winning numbers" to any of "your numbers" in the play area on the front of each ticket, they win the prize shown for that number. If they find the "star" symbol they win that prize instantly, and if they find the "5X" symbol, they win five times the prize shown for that symbol. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.07.

Four top prizes of $500,000 are still up for grabs in the 500 Grand game, as well as nine prizes of $10,000 and more than 80 prizes of $1,000.

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