Des Moines, Iowa – The first of 12 top prizes of $100,000 in the Iowa Lottery’s new “$100,000 Mega Crossword” instant-scratch game was claimed Wednesday by a northeast Iowa woman.
Kayla Packard of Nashua said she is an occasional lottery player, but decided to try the new scratch game and the decision paid off.
“Actually I don’t really buy tickets. I just had some extra cash and I figured, ‘Oh hey, why not?’” Packard told lottery employees as she claimed her prize at the lottery’s regional office in Mason City.
The 24-year-old purchased her winning ticket Friday at Kwik Star, 201 Greenwood Ave. in Nashua, where she works.
“I was scratching away and I counted all the (words) and I looked over at the key and I’m like, ‘Oh this can’t be right,’” she said.
Packard handed her ticket to her husband, Kyle, to confirm she had won a $100,000 prize. The couple also took it back to the store to have it verified.
“I was just in shock for a good day and a half. I’m like, ‘This never happens to me, this is crazy!’” she said.
Packard said her lottery winnings will be used to pay off her student loans and to take a belated honeymoon.
The $100,000 Mega Crossword scratch game is a $10 ticket. Players win a prize by uncovering at least four complete words in one or both of the ticket’s puzzles. Players can also win a prize by uncovering a “bonus word” in the playing area. If a player uncovers six complete “red” words, he/she wins $100,000. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.29.
Eleven top prizes of $100,000 are still up for grabs in $100,000 Mega Crossword, as well as 24 prizes of $10,000, 123 prizes of $1,000 and thousands of prizes of $500, $200 and $100.
Since the lottery’s start in 1985, its players have won more than $3.2 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.5 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.