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Eastern Iowa Man Eyes Retirement After Big Lottery Win

William Bowling Claims Big Prize In InstaPlay Lottery Game

William Bowling

CLIVE, Iowa — An eastern Iowa man said he has an eye toward retirement after he won an Iowa Lottery prize of more than $303,000.

"I've been kind of thinking about retiring at the end of the year," said William Bowling, 64, of Maquoketa. "Now, it's going to be a lot easier if I do."

Bowling won an Extreme Green Progressive InstaPlay jackpot prize of $303,674, the largest jackpot prize to date in an InstaPlay game. He bought his winning ticket at Casey's, 801 E. Platt St. in Maquoketa, where he stopped after work to redeem a $20 prize on another ticket.

The Extreme Green Progressive jackpot starts at $20,000 and increases with each ticket sold statewide until it is won. When Bowling saw the jackpot was still climbing, he decided to buy another ticket in the game instead of pocketing his winnings. He took the ticket to his truck, and that's when he saw his big prize.

"I didn't really get too excited," he said. "I just kept thinking I was going to wake up and I dreamt it, you know? Because I've dreamt stuff before and I woke up and thought, 'Oh no, it isn't real!' That's what I was thinking of for two days."

Bowling called his wife, Deb, but didn't tell her the full amount right away.

"I actually told her $100,000, afraid she might have a heart attack if I told her $300,000," he said with a laugh.

She didn't believe him, so he met up with her at a local restaurant to show her the ticket. She scanned the ticket with the Iowa Lottery mobile app and saw the prize amount displayed.

"She was pretty much in shock," Bowling said.

He claimed his prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters in Clive. Besides helping with retirement, Bowling said he is considering using part of his winnings on a family vacation to somewhere warm.

The InstaPlay product combines features from instant-scratch and lotto games. InstaPlay tickets are called "scratchless" because they have no security coating that needs to be removed to determine the prize won. And rather than having supplies of tickets printed in advance like those in traditional scratch and pull-tab games, InstaPlay tickets are printed on demand from the lottery terminal.

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

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