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Waterloo Woman Wins $30,000 Prize In New Game

Melanie Wagner Claims Big Prize in 'Lucky 3' Scratch Game

Melanie Wagner

CLIVE, Iowa - A Waterloo woman who won a $30,000 lottery prize said she chose her lucky ticket because of its eye-catching design.

"It was bright pink so it was kind of glowing in the case, calling out to me," Melanie Wagner told officials with a laugh after claiming her prize at the lottery's Cedar Rapids regional office.

Wagner, 38, won the first top prize in the "Lucky 3" scratch game, which began sales last week. She said she bought her $30,000-winning ticket after stopping by her "lucky place" to buy tickets, Metro Mart, 3201 W. Fourth St. in Waterloo, to redeem a different ticket that had won a $10 prize.

She spotted the new game and decided to buy three tickets. She uncovered the big prize on the third ticket.

"I for sure thought I was mistaken," she said. "So I re-read the directions again, I immediately started shaking and I scanned it with the app, and sure enough, it was correct.

'It's utter disbelief," she added. "You always hope it's going to happen. I always, in my heart of hearts, thought it might happen someday, but not this soon. It's super exciting."

After scratching off the big prize she immediately called her twin sister, but said not even her twin believed her until she sent a photo of the winning ticket. Then she signed the back of the ticket and took it home to hide in a safe spot.

Wagner said she hadn't yet decided what she'll do with her winnings.

"I really have no idea yet," she said. "I just can't wait to hear how everyone else tells me I should spend it."

Lucky 3 is a $3 scratch game that features 10 top prizes of $30,000 and overall odds of 1 in 3.56. For more information about this game, and the number of prizes still available, visit

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