DES MOINES, Iowa - A Le Claire man said he never expected to win a $50,000 prize while playing a random lottery scratch game.
Jack Gibbs, 71, said he plays all kinds of scratch games, and just happened to choose the "MONOPOLYTM" ticket a few days ago when he discovered he'd won a top prize.
"I didn't believe it when I saw the numbers but I had the lady run the numbers on the computer and she verified them," Gibbs said.
Gibbs scratched his ticket while in Slagle's Grocery, 1301 Eagle Ridge Road in Le Claire. He said he was alone, but knew several people in the store.
"I didn't know whether to believe it or not. I didn't get excited until I saw that computer printout," Gibbs said.
Gibbs said he's told most of his family and friends about his big win.
"Le Claire is a small town, so when you win something like this, they know it before you even get home," Gibbs said with a laugh.
Gibbs said people are reluctant to believe him at first because he likes to joke around, but he's been showing them his proof.
"When they do [believe me] their mouths hang open and they say, 'Well, you got lucky this time!'" Gibbs said. "It just so happened my number came up."
Gibbs plans to use some of his winnings to do home renovations as well as purchase a newer car.
Gibbs, who is retired, claimed his prize Monday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.
MONOPOLY is a $5 scratch game. Players win a prize by matching any of "your numbers" to any of the "winning numbers." If they find the "top hat" symbol they win double the prize shown. There are also three bonus areas where players can win $10, $25 or $50 instantly.
Sixteen top prizes are still up for grabs in MONOPOLY as well as 241 prizes of $1,000, more than 950 prizes of $200 and more than 2,400 prizes of $100.
Players can also Play It AgainTM if they don't win on their MONOPOLY scratch tickets. Enter non-winning MONOPOLY tickets in the Lottery's VIP Club between now and noon on Sept. 6 for a chance to win one of eight exciting getaway prize packages in the "Great Iowa Getaway" promotion.
The Great Iowa Getaway cities include : Boone/Ames, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Dubuque, Mason City, Moravia, Okoboji and Storm Lake. Visit ialotteryvip.com for complete details and rules.
Players who enter their non-winning MONOPOLY tickets in the VIP Club will also receive Points For PrizesÃ‚â„¢ points just like they do on any other eligible non-winning Iowa Lottery instant-scratch ticket. They can then use those points to pick out prizes in the online store.
Since the lottery's start in 1985, its players have won more than $2.7 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.3 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.
The MONOPOLY name and logo, the distinctive design of the game board, the four corner squares, the MR.MONOPOLY name and character, as well as each of the distinctive elements of the board and playing pieces are trademarks of Hasbro for its property trading game and game equipment. © 2011 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. Licensed by Hasbro. © 2011 Iowa Lottery. All Rights Reserved.