We have a winner!

According to a press release from the Iowa Lottery, a Linn County woman has claimed the very first $50,000 prize in a new lottery scratch game.

Karen Stearns, 55, stopped at Hy-Vee Drugstore on Johnson Ave in Cedar Rapids to rent a carpet cleaner when she decided to buy a couple of lottery tickets. She purchased the Holiday Bucks scratch offs because she knew that any non-winning tickets would be eligible for the Iowa Lottery's Ho Ho Dough promotion. That promotion allows losing tickets to be used as entries to win $200,000 in cash prizes.

Holiday Bucks is a $5 scratch game that features eight top prizes of $50,000 and the overall odds of winning are 1 in 3.49. Stearns beat those odds and turned her $10 into $50,000. What is she going to do with all of the dough? Stearns says that she plans to invest some of the winnings and use some on a kitchen renovation.

“We’ve been living in this house now for three years and that’s all I’ve wanted, so now I can get it,” she told lottery officials.

Congrats Karen!

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