Decorah's Shana Meyer said she was not enjoying the winter weather in April and wanted something fun to do to brighten the day.
So she bought a few scratch tickets and won a $30,000 lottery prize.
"It was snowing in April and it should not be snowing," said Meyer. "We went out for breakfast and decided that we were just going to rent a movie. And the convenience store had movies. And I thought, 'You know, it's a bad day. Let's just go sit around and scratch a ticket off.'"
Meyer, 26, claimed the ninth of 12 top prizes of $30,000 available in the lottery's "Word Bank" instant-scratch game. She purchased her winning ticket at Nordic Express in Decorah.
Meyer said she'd asked the clerk to help her pick out some fun, new tickets to try.
"I said I want something fun. And something that people have had some luck on or whatever," she explained. "She goes, 'This one seems to be a good one.' And she picked it out."
At first, Meyer thought she'd just won $30. Her husband, Evan, asked to see her ticket, but she wasn't finished scratching it.
"I scratched the rest of the zeros off. I'm like, 'Thirty.' I kept saying, 'Thirty.' And Evan's like, 'Thirty what?'" Meyer said. "And I said, "$30,000. I think I just won $30,000!'"
Meyer, who works as a receptionist at Winneshiek Medical Center, claimed her prize Monday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids and said she plans to use the winnings on the couple's home.
"We will definitely be putting it toward home repairs that are much needed," she said.
Word Bank is a $3 scratch game. Players scratch the "bank vault letters" area to reveal 18 letters. Then they scratch each letter in the 12 words on the ticket front that corresponds to the "bank vault letters." If a player completes any word using the "bank vault letters," they win the prize shown for that word. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.79.
Three top prizes of $30,000 are still up for grabs in Word Bank, as well as seven prizes of $3,000 and several hundred prizes of $75, $100, $300 and $500.
Since the lottery's start in 1985, its players have won more than $3 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised nearly $1.4 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.