Press Room

College Student Wins $25,000 Lottery Prize

Neil Petersen, of Mason City, Wins Top Prize Playing 'Holiday Bingo' Scratch Game

Neil Petersen   Hear Neil tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Mason City man received an instant-scratch ticket as a Christmas present and ended up winning a $25,000 top prize.

Neil Petersen, 21, said he had his sister and mother double-check his winning "Holiday Bingo" ticket before he started to celebrate.

"We checked it over quite few times to make sure," Petersen said. "They were pretty shocked and my sister was pretty mad it wasn't her."

Petersen claimed his prize Friday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Mason City. He claimed the fifth of nine top prizes of $25,000 available in the Holiday Bingo game. The winning ticket was purchased at Hy-Vee, 2400 Fourth St. SW in Mason City.

Petersen is a student at Iowa State University in Ames. He said his lottery winnings will be used to help pay for his education.

Holiday Bingo is a $2 scratch game. Players try to win a prize by matching numbers in any complete horizontal, vertical or diagonal line, four corners, or an "X" pattern in the shaded box patterns in the play area on each ticket. Players win a $25,000 top prize by matching numbers in an "X" pattern on "Card 4" in the playing area. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.57.

Four top prizes of $25,000 are still up for grabs in Holiday Bingo, as well as 11 prizes of $2,500, 16 prizes of $500, 36 prizes of $250 and 133 prizes of $150.

Players can enter nonwinning Holiday Bingo scratch tickets online in the Gifts Galore Play It Again® promotion, which offers 310 Sony® electronics and cash prizes. When a player enters an eligible nonwinning scratch ticket in Gifts Galore, he or she will receive one entry in the drawing for the corresponding Sony® electronic or cash prize category. The deadline to enter is noon, Jan. 13. For rules and complete details, visit

Return to top↑