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Cedar Rapids Man Checks Lottery Tickets, Find $30,000 Win

Jim Hazelton Wins Big Prize in May 31 Hot Lotto® Drawing

Jim Hazelton   Hear Jim tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Cedar Rapids man said he got a big surprise when he checked a stack of lottery tickets he had lying around.

Jim Hazelton, 60, won $30,000 in the May 31 Hot Lotto drawing. He said he regularly plays Hot Lotto, but got busy at work the last few weeks and didn't have a chance to check his tickets. A convenience store clerk alerted Hazelton of his big win Tuesday as he was checking his tickets.

"He's going, 'Holy crap, I think you won $30,000!'" Hazelton said. "I'm going, 'You're nuts!'"

Hazelton purchased his winning ticket at Hawkeye Convenience Store, 1120 Old Marion Road NE in Cedar Rapids. He matched all five white balls, but missed the Hot Ball in the May 31 drawing to win a $30,000 prize. The winning numbers in that night's drawing were: 14-15-36-41-43 and Hot Ball 18.

There was no jackpot winner in the May 31 drawing. The Hot Lotto jackpot has been growing since Oct. 12, 2013 and stands at $8.12 million for Saturday's drawing. The game now has an all-cash jackpot with withholding taxes paid, meaning that if the advertised jackpot is $8.12 million, the winner will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment for that full amount.

Hazelton said he had to check the winning ticket himself using a self-scanner before he believed that he had won $30,000. Then after checking the rest of his tickets, Hazelton immediately sent a text message to his wife, Barb, with his good news.

"She texted back twice real quick and then called," he said. "She said, 'I think you're pulling my leg!'"

Hazelton, who manages a KFC® restaurant in Cedar Rapids, said he is thrilled with winning $30,000. He claimed his prize Wednesday at the lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

"You always dream about hitting the bigger ones, but whatever little bit there is - we'll take it," he said.

Hazelton said his lottery winnings will be used toward some home projects and an upcoming trip for his 20th wedding anniversary.

Winning numbers may be checked at the lottery website at or through the winning numbers' hot line at (515) 323-4633. Winning numbers may also be checked with lottery retail outlets or by calling the lottery at (515) 725-7900 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Players may visit the Iowa Lottery at 2323 Grand Ave. in Des Moines or go to one of the lottery's regional offices in Council Bluffs, Storm Lake, Mason City or Cedar Rapids to claim prizes.

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