DES MOINES, Iowa - A Cedar Falls man decided to stop for a few scratch tickets while on a walk with his family and ended up winning a top prize on one of them.
Josh Harris, 27, noticed the lottery's holiday-themed scratch games had hit the stores Wednesday, so he picked up a couple "Merry MONOPOLY™" and "Holiday Crossword" instant-scratch tickets to play with his fiancé, Tammy Wence.
"We always buy Crosswords because they're the ones I have the best luck on," Harris said.
It was on one of the Holiday Crossword tickets that Harris won big.
"I scratched the 'E,' the 'R' and the 'K' and those were the ones I needed for all my words," he said. "I just started jumping up and down like, 'I got ten words, I got ten words!'"
Harris, who does concrete work, wasn't quite sure what his prize was initially, but his excitement grew when he realized he'd won a top prize of $30,000.
"At first I thought I won $300 and it turned out to be $30,000," he said. "I was happy."
Harris joked that their six-year-old daughter has decided she wants a big TV, but he has plans to purchase a newer vehicle, among other things.
"I wasn't anticipating the win; I was just scratching it to scratch it," he said. "I always hear about it, but now I can actually say that I did it."
Harris claimed his prize Thursday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids. He purchased his winning ticket at Murphy USA, 518 Brandilynn Blvd. in Cedar Falls.