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Fort Dodge Woman Wins Big InstaPlay Lottery Prize

Ronni Arnold Claims Jackpot Prize of Nearly $50,000

Ronni Arnold

CLIVE, Iowa - A Fort Dodge woman bought a lottery ticket on her lunch break and won a jackpot prize of nearly $50,000.

"I cannot stop smiling," Ronni Arnold, 32, told officials on Wednesday after claiming her Jumbo Bucks Progressive InstaPlay prize of $49,628.15 at the lottery's Storm Lake regional office. "I cannot stop thinking about what I'm going to do with the money and how I can be most responsible with it."

Arnold said her boyfriend, Ben Palmer, had texted her a screenshot of the Iowa Lottery's mobile app that showed the Jumbo Bucks jackpot was continuing to climb. The game's jackpot starts at $5,000 and increases with each ticket sold statewide until it is won.

"He said, 'I can't believe this still hasn't hit! You better stop and buy some on your way back to work,'" said Arnold, who works for the city of Fort Dodge. "I said, 'OK, Ben. I'll stop and buy some.'"

She purchased a couple tickets at Dale's Corner Store, 231 Fifth Ave. N. in Fort Dodge. The first ticket was the big winner.

"I just looked at it and screamed and jumped," Arnold recalled with a laugh.

She returned to her car and called her mother, who urged her to get to the lottery office right away to claim her prize. Then she called her boyfriend, who took the afternoon off of work to celebrate with her.

After winning the prize, Arnold said she noticed that her boss had scheduled an afternoon meeting.

"I called her and said, 'I saw that you scheduled this, but I was really needing to take the afternoon off,'" Arnold said. "She said, 'Well, why?' I said, 'Well, I just won the lottery.'

"And she said, 'The meeting is not as important as $50,000, so take off!'"

Arnold said she plans to use her winnings to pay a couple bills and take her sisters and mother to visit another sister in Florida.

InstaPlay games combine features from instant-scratch and lotto games to give players an option with no numbers to pick, playslips to fill out or wait for a drawing. InstaPlay tickets are known as "scratchless" because they have no security coating that needs to be removed to determine the prize won. The tickets are printed on demand from the lottery terminal.

InstaPlay games range in price from $1 to $20. For more information, visit ialottery.com.

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