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Webster City man wins $100,000 “consolation prize”

DES MOINES, Iowa ñ A Webster City man who nearly purchased the $1 million-winning “Lifetime Riches” scratch ticket claimed by another Webster City man said he’s just as happy to have won a $100,000 “consolation prize” playing the lottery’s “Red Hot Cherries” instant-scratch game.

Tony Jones, 39, owns his own handyman business and said he was plowing snow at the convenience store where Aenoi Phetxoumphone bought his $1 million-winning “Lifetime Riches” scratch ticket in February.

“That Thursday night we were moving snow, and I played three Lifetime Riches and they were all losers so I played a fourth and it was a $50 winner,” Jones said. “So I said ‘I’ll just take my $30 loss and go.’ So four tickets were left on the roll and it was the last one that hit! But this is a nice consolation prize.”

Jones later purchased his top prize-winning Red Hot Cherries ticket at his favorite retailer, Doc’s Stop, at 1345 Second St. in Webster City. He said he may have never purchased the winning ticket if it wasn’t for his wife, Anna.

“I said, ‘I don’t know why you want to play this game,’” Jones said. “So later on we were playing some and I scratched mine off and looked at it, then looked at it again. I kind of rubbed my eyes and said, ‘I think I might have won $100,000!’”

Jones said Anna was just as shocked as he was when they discovered the win.

“She looked at me and said, ‘You’re a liar!’” Jones said. “So they ran it and it said, ‘Collect your prize.’ If it weren’t for her going I probably would’ve never played it.”

Jones said he really enjoys all types of lottery games, but scratch tickets are his favorite.

“I always thought I might hit $30,000 someday, but I never dreamed I’d win $100,000,” he said.

Jones has told a few family and friends about his win and he said they’re all happy for him.

“They say, ‘You’re lucky,’ and I tell them, ‘Well you should play more!’” Jones said with a laugh as he claimed his prize at the Iowa Lottery’s headquarters Friday.

Jones said he plans to use some of his winnings to invest in his family business, as well as do some home renovation.

Red Hot Cherries is a $10 scratch game. Players try to get three like symbols in the same “pull” to win the prize shown for that pull. If they get two like symbols and a “7” symbol in the same pull, they win double the prize shown for that pull. If players get two like symbols and a “coin” symbol in the same pull, they win triple the prize shown for that pull. In the left Bonus area, players who find a “cherry” symbol win $25 instantly. In the right Bonus area, players who find a “hot” symbol win $50 instantly. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.30.

Five top prizes of $100,000 are left in Red Hot Cherries, as well as seven prizes of $10,000, 230 prizes of $1,000, and several thousand prizes of $300 and $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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