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Dubuque Man Celebrates 4th Of July Early With $500,000 Lottery Win

Travis Lenz Wins Top Prize Playing The '500 Grand' Scratch Game

Travis Lenz   Hear Travis tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Dubuque man said he tried to keep quiet the news of his big lottery win, but word spread quickly.

"It didn't take long for friends to find out," Travis Lenz said with a laugh. "My phone didn't stop ringing all day."

Lenz said he bought a ticket in the Iowa Lottery's "500 Grand" instant-scratch game on his way to work Wednesday and was in complete shock when he played it and uncovered a $500,000 prize.

"It hasn't set in yet," Lenz said as he claimed his prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Des Moines. "Once it does, I'll probably be pretty excited."

Lenz, 33, who works at Advance Designs screen printing and embroidery in Dubuque, claimed the fifth of eight top prizes of $500,000 available in the 500 Grand game. He purchased his winning ticket at Kwik Stop, 2255 Kerper Blvd. in Dubuque.

Lenz said he was able to share the good news with his family and the news spread from there.

"I tried to keep it a secret, but it don't last long," he said with a laugh.

"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.

Lenz said he wasn't sure yet how he planned to spend his winnings.

"Probably pay some bills," he said. "Other than that, I'm sure I'll have a little excitement with it."

Three 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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