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Independence Woman Buys Scratch Ticket On A Whim, Wins $30,000 Prize

Barb Wendling Wins Top Prize Playing 'Crossword' Scratch Game

Barb Wendling   Hear Barb tell her story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - An Independence woman said she acted on an instinct to buy a scratch ticket and ended up winning a big prize.

Barb Wendling, 36, said she had a "feeling" all-day Saturday to buy a scratch ticket. So after work she stopped at Casey's, 816 First St. in Independence and bought a "Crossword" scratch ticket. She scratched it off the same day and won the 39th of 86 top prizes of $30,000 available in the game.

"I don't know why. Something just kept telling me to go buy a scratch ticket. It was the weirdest thing ever," Wendling told lottery employees Tuesday as she claimed her prize at the lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

Wendling said she initially thought that she had won $3,000, but she got a pleasant surprise when a store clerk checked her ticket using a lottery terminal.

"I go, 'Oh, I have to go to the Iowa Lottery (office).' And that kid turned around and goes, 'Yeah because you just won $30,000!'" she said. "Then I hyperventilated a little. I couldn't really talk. I couldn't really function. I was like, 'What?' I was just in shock; I'm still in shock really."

Wendling, who owns a salon in Independence, said she shared her good news with her parents and siblings, but her brother had a tough time believing she'd won the lottery.

"He totally thought I was fooling around with him," she said. "I kept saying, 'Call Mom and Dad, they've seen the ticket!'"

Wendling said her lottery winnings will be used to pay bills and to purchase a new heating and air conditioning system for her home.

Crossword is a $3 scratch game. Players win a prize by uncovering at least three complete words in the ticket's puzzle. If a player uncovers 10 words, he/she wins $30,000. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.82.

Forty-seven prizes of $30,000 are still up for grabs in Crossword (game #805), as well as 68 prizes of $3,000 and thousands of prizes of $300 and $100.

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