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First Top Prizes Claimed On Two New Lottery Scratch Games

Connie Jo Kelly, of Bussey, Wins $100,000 and Brad Zipse, of Northwood, Wins $50,000

Connie Jo Kelly   Hear Connie Jo tell her story.

Brad Zipse   Hear Brad tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - Two big prizes were claimed by Iowa Lottery players Thursday on instant-scratch tickets from a new series of games that went on sale Monday.

A woman from southern Iowa and a man from the northern part of the state claimed prizes of $100,000 and $50,000, respectively.

Connie Jo Kelly of Bussey claimed the first of six top prizes of $100,000 available in the "Make My Year™" game.

"I don't even know what to say, it's like a dream," Kelly told lottery employees as she claimed her prize at the lottery's headquarters in Des Moines.

Brad Zipse of Northwood claimed the first of seven top prizes of $50,000 available in the "Make My Month™" game.

Zipse told lottery employees that he didn't get much sleep as he waited to claim his prize Thursday morning at the lottery's regional office in Mason City.

"I pretty much tossed and turned all night," he said. "I didn't want to lose it or have something happen to the ticket."

The lottery's Make My Year™ and Make My Month™ games are part of a series of games that have a similar look, feel and gameplay, but vary in size, cost and prizes offered. The price point and top prize increase with the length of time indicated in the game's name. For example, players can win up to $50,000 playing the $5 Make My Month™ game, but can win up to $100,000 playing the $10 Make My Year™ game. A $1 Make My Day™ ticket and a $2 Make My Week™ ticket are part of the same series of games. Players scratch the "stars" in the playing area on each ticket and match game symbols to win prizes.

Five top prizes of $100,000 are still up for grabs in Make My Year™, as well as eight prizes of $10,000, 267 prizes of $1,000 and hundreds of prizes of $300 and $100.

Six top prizes of $50,000 are still up for grabs in Make My Month™, as well as 96 prizes of $1,000, 512 prizes of $200 and thousands of prizes of $100.

Kelly, 60, said that she had a "hunch," and whenever she has a hunch she buys lottery tickets. Her hunch paid off, as she said she won several small prizes playing the "Make My" series of games. Kelly said she used the $10 she had won on a Make My Month ticket to purchase her winning Make My Year™ ticket at Git-N-Go, 209 E. Oskaloosa St. in Pella.

"I just said make my year - sounds pretty good to me," she said. "I went out to my Jeep and scratched it off and did 50,000 blanks and I don't know how many deep breaths before I realized that I had won $100,000."

Kelly said she asked the store clerk to double-check her winning ticket before she started to celebrate.

"I said, 'Could you verify this? Make sure that this is true before I start hopping up and down,'" she said. "That machine said, 'You're a winner!' and I hopped up and down on that one."

Kelly then called her husband, Bob, to share her good news.

"I said, 'Remember when I always dream about calling you and telling you I won $100,000?'" she said. "And he goes, 'Yeah.' And I said, 'I just did!'"

Bob, 53, said he initially thought something bad had happened since his wife rarely calls him at work.

"Then she told me that she won $100,000 and then I did hoot and I jumped up," he said.

Kelly said her lottery winnings will help her retire from Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella, where she has worked since 2005. She also said she plans to pay off some bills and share some of her winnings with her children.

Zipse, 44, said he normally purchases a different scratch game, but decided Wednesday to purchase the $5 Make My Month™ game at North Star Xpress, 712 Eighth St. N in Northwood.

"I bought one and it was a loser so I asked the kid to give me another one," he said. "I went out to the truck and I started scratching it off and it came up $50,000!"

Zipse, who works for an excavating company, said he immediately went back in the store to have the clerk double-check his winning ticket.

"The clerk gave me a high five, he couldn't believe it," he said.

Zipse said his wife died of cancer in 2009, so his lottery winnings will help with the family's expenses.

"It pretty much made my month and year," he said.

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