Woman wins big Iowa lottery prize — and can’t believe it. ‘I had a hard time sleeping’

The Iowa Lottery

An Iowa woman won big on a lottery scratch-off ticket, leaving her in disbelief.

“I had a hard time sleeping last night,” Sandra Stepanek said in a Nov. 14 news release from the Iowa Lottery.

The West Branch woman played the “$30,000 Crossword” scratch game. She said at first, she couldn’t believe she won.

“I was having my hubby count how many words I had,” she said. “I thought I had eight, but I had 10. And then I about flipped. So then we drove to Tipton to check my ticket and make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.”

Stepanek won $30,000, which was the 35th top prize in the game. In total, the game has 151 $30,000 top prizes.

She says she will use her winnings to pay off a loan and add to her savings account, the release said.

“I’ll be pretty much debt-free except for my car,” she said.

West Branch is about 30 miles southeast of Cedar Rapids.

Many people can gamble or play games of chance without harm. However, for some, gambling is an addiction that can ruin lives and families.

If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.

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