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Waterloo Woman Wins $30,000 Lottery Prize On Ticket She Didn't Plan To Buy

Michele Bautista Wins Top Prize in 'Bonus Crossword' Scratch Game

Michele Bautista

CLIVE, Iowa - A Waterloo woman said a $30,000 lottery win took her breath away.

"I was out of breath and called my son up," Michele Bautista officials on Monday as she claimed her prize at the lottery's Cedar Rapids regional office. "He had to run over to the house just to see if I did or not. He looked at it and said, 'Better sign it right now, Mom!"

Bautista, 50, won a top prize in the Iowa Lottery's "Bonus Crossword" scratch game. She stopped for an iced coffee at Kwik Star, 875 Fisher Drive in Waterloo, and asked for two tickets in the $3 scratch game.

When the store employee accidentally grabbed three tickets instead, Bautista, a restaurant manager, decided to buy them all. She played the tickets when she got home, and it was on the third ticket that she uncovered the game's 128th top prize.

Bautista said she plans to save most of her winnings, but will use some to fly her mother from California to Iowa for a visit.

Bonus Crossword is a $3 scratch game that features overall odds of 1 in 3.52 and 144 top prizes of $30,000. For more information about this game, and the number of prizes still available, visit

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