DES MOINES, Iowa ñ A Hamilton County woman said her idea that no one ever really wins the top prize on lottery games was proven wrong recently.|DES MOINES, Iowa ñ A Hamilton County woman said her idea that no one ever really wins the top prize on lottery games was proven wrong recently.
Kelly Wallen, 32, said she likes to play the lottery’s “Magic Line Bingo” instant-scratch game every now and then for fun, but never dreamed she’d win the top prize of $25,000.
“O-65 came up and I thought, ‘Oh man, I got four corners! Holy moly, I won $25,000!’ And that was that,” Wallen said.
Wallen was home with her husband, Matthew, her brother-in-law, Mark, and her three children when she discovered her win; she said she couldn’t contain her excitement.
“I was like, ‘I really won!’ So we went over it again and it was right and I went, ‘Whew!’” she said.
Wallen said when she realized what she’d won she started shaking and couldn’t stand still.
“I couldn’t contain myself at all. I was screaming and shaking,” Wallen said.
Wallen said she still felt nervous even when she claimed her prize Wednesday at the Iowa Lottery’s regional office in Mason City.
“I didn’t believe people actually won the top dollar amount,” Wallen said. “I was like, ‘Holy wow, they really do win.’ And I’m very excited about that.”
After telling her immediate family, Wallen called her mom to tell her the big news.
“At 6 o’clock this morning when I told her she said, ‘What? You won what? Twenty-five dollars? And you’re calling me?’ And I said, ‘No, 25,000!’” Wallen said. “And she said, ‘Twenty-five thousand! I need more coffee.’”
Wallen, who is from Kamrar, said her husband called everyone on his contact list in his phone; and since they’re from a small town, she figures word will spread quickly.
“It’s a very small town, population of about 261, so I’m pretty sure half the town knows,” Wallen joked.
Wallen works as an assistant manager for McDonald’s in Webster City. She said she plans to use some of her winnings to help her parents remodel their bathroom. She also plans to use some of the money to take her family on vacation.
Wallen purchased her winning ticket at Doc’s Stop, 407 Closz Drive in Webster City.
Magic Line Bingo is a $2 scratch game. Players try to match any complete horizontal, vertical or diagonal line, four corners, or an “X” pattern on one of the four Bingo cards to win the corresponding prize in the prize arrow that points to their card. “Magic Line” numbers are highlighted in magenta when scratched. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.78.
Thirteen top prizes of $25,000 are still up for grabs in Magic Line Bingo, as well as 29 prizes of $2,500, 26 prizes of $1,000, 89 prizes of $500 and more than 500 prizes of $250 and $150.
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.