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Cedar Rapids Man Wins $300,000 Lottery Prize

Kenneth Van Egdon Claims Top Prize in 'Colossal Crossword' Scratch Game

Kenneth Van Egdon

CLIVE, Iowa - A Cedar Rapids man who won a $300,000 lottery prize said his winnings will become a nest egg for the rest of his life.

"I'm at the prime of my life, but this is like the perfect time to just have a little nest egg already that I can use for the second half of my life," Kenneth Van Egdon said as he claimed his prize Wednesday at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive.

Van Egdon, 45, said he truly didn't believe his luck until he arrived at the lottery and his big win was verified.

"I didn't believe that it was actually accurate until I got here -- I was in disbelief the whole time," he said. "It's just so incredible. You don't think about this stuff happening to you. Ever."

Van Egdon won the fourth top prize in the Iowa Lottery's "Colossal Crossword" scratch game. He purchased his ticket at The Station, 3645 Stone Creek Circle SW in Cedar Rapids, and scratched it at home. He said the more he scratched the more excited he became.

"I had, I think, 15 words," he said. "Freaking out. And as I'm double-checking, I'm like, 'There's the 16th word. There's $300,000!'"

He said his first instinct was to hide the ticket until he could claim the prize. Then he wrote down each of the completed words to verify his big win.

"It's such a weight off my shoulders, honestly," he said. "I have a good job, I've got stuff set away for retirement. But now I don't have as many what-ifs. My what-ifs have been taken care of and that's such a blessing."

Van Egdon said he plans to use his winnings to buy a car, pay off some debt, take a tropical vacation and invest for the future. He's also considering furthering his education.

Colossal Crossword is a $30 scratch game that features 13 top prizes of $300,000, 38 prizes of $10,000 and overall odds of 1 in 2.29. For more information about this game, and the number of prizes still available, visit

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