For the second time in two months a Dubuque man has claimed a $30,000 lottery prize.
On Monday, Collin Pfeiler claimed the 10th of 91 top prizes of $30,000 available in the Iowa Lottery's "Bonus Crossword" scratch game. He also claimed a $30,000 prize Dec. 13 playing a similar holiday version of the lottery's popular Bonus Crossword game.
"I didn't think I'd ever be a lottery winner once," Pfeiler told lottery employees Monday as he claimed his prize at the lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids. "I've won $300 (before) and I was ridiculously happy for $300, but I never expected $30,000. And then twice it's unreal."
The 55-year-old said he first thought his most recent winning ticket was worth just $100.
Pfeiler said he stopped Saturday at Plaza 20 BP/Amoco, 2600 Dodge St. in Dubuque for a quick break before shopping with his family at a nearby department store. He said he bought two Bonus Crossword scratch tickets and saved them to scratch off later that night.
When he scratched off his tickets he said he saw right away that one of them was a winner, but he thought he only uncovered seven complete words, which would've been a $100 win. He had his ticket checked Sunday morning at a convenience store and learned he'd won the game's $30,000 top prize.
"Told them, 'I've got a $100 winner,'" Pfeiler said. "And she says, 'Ah, no. Yours is a little bigger than that.'"
Pfeiler said he missed scratching off the letter 'B' when he played his ticket and that ended up giving him three more words and with it the game's top prize.
Pfeiler said he plans to use a portion of his lottery winnings to pay bills and save the rest.
Bonus Crossword is a $3 scratch game. More details about how to play this and other scratch games, and the number of prizes still up for grabs in it can be found on our website.