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News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Hardin County Woman Gets $30,000 Surprise From Her Boyfriend

DES MOINES, Iowa ñ A Hardin County woman was never expecting to win a $30,000 prize when her boyfriend came home from the grocery store with milk and a few “Crossword” instant-scratch tickets.

Virginia Hoversten, 36, said her boyfriend stopped to pick up milk on his way home and picked her up a few Crossword tickets as well.

“I said, ‘Why don’t you scratch one?’ And he said he didn’t like that kind, so I scratched all three of them,” Hoversten said. “The second one was looking pretty good. And I kept going and I got ten words!”

Hoversten, who is from Alden, said she doesn’t play scratch tickets very often, so she was in total shock that she’d won the top prize.

“I screamed and called my mom right away,” she said.

Hoversten said she also called her sister to tell her the good news and everyone was very excited for her.

“I just thought, ‘This isn’t real,’” Hoversten said.

Hoversten, who is a front desk clerk for Super 8, said she plans to use some of her winnings to pay bills and plans to save the rest.

Hoversten claimed her prize Feb. 2 at the Iowa Lottery’s regional office in Mason City. She purchased her winning ticket at at Casey’s, 2721 Dows Williams Road in Dows.

Crossword is a $3 scratch game. Players win a prize by uncovering at least three complete words in the ticket’s puzzle. If a player uncovers 10 words, he/she wins $30,000. The overall odds of winning in the game are 1 in 3.82.

Forty-one prizes of $30,000 are still up for grabs in Crossword as well as 56 prizes of $3,000, more than 830 prizes of $300 and more than 4,000 prizes of $100.

Since the lottery’s start in 1985, its players have won more than $2.6 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.2 billion for the state programs that benefit all Iowans.

Today, lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for veterans, help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund, and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.|

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