Iowa man wins scratch-off lottery game, plays again, and then scores $300,000

Gregory Monahan of Mason City felt so lucky after winning a $40 scratch-off game that he played the same game later in the day. He's now $300,000 richer.

Doc Louallen
Gregory Monahan won $300,000 from scratch-off.

An Iowa man who won $40 on a scratch-off game was feeling pretty lucky. When he played the same game later the same day, he hit it big: $300,000.

Gregory Monahan of Mason City won by playing the $30 Ruby Red Crossword instant game after buying a ticket at a Kwik Star. The 45-year-old pipefitter came this close to just being a $40 winner instead of a $300,000 winner.

"I was going to cash the (ticket) in at the Kwik Star near my work, but I decided not to because I was too tired, so I just started driving home," Monahan told the Iowa Lottery.

On his way home, Monahan decided to stop in at Kwik Star to redeem his prize and buy another ticket, ultimately winning the grand prize.

'I just started screaming' after winning Ruby Red Crossword

When Monahan got home, scratched off the ticket and scanned the QR code, he was shocked.

"I just started screaming," Monahan said to lottery officials. "Just the biggest rush of excitement ever: That's the only way I can explain it."

The Iowa Lottery said that Monahan has not decided what he plans to do with his winnings.

"I'm going to tuck a lot of it away in the bank right now," he said to the Iowa Lottery. "I'm not going to jump the gun on anything right away."

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What is the Ruby Red Crossword?

Ruby Red Crossword is a $30 scratch game with 16 top prizes of $300,000 and 47 prizes of $10,000.

What are the odds of winning Ruby Red Crossword?

The overall odds of winning are 1 in 2.29, while the odds of winning the top prize of $300,000 are 1 in 118,113.13.

Where can you buy lottery tickets?  

Tickets can be purchased in-person at gas stations, convenience stores and grocery stores. Some airport terminals may also sell lottery tickets.

You can also order tickets online through Jackpocket, the official digital lottery courier of the USA TODAY Network, in these U.S. states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington D.C. and West Virginia. The Jackpocket app allows you to pick your lottery game and numbers, place your order, see your ticket and collect your winnings all using your phone or home computer.  

Jackpocket is the official digital lottery courier of the USA TODAY Network. Gannett may earn revenue for audience referrals to Jackpocket services. Must be 18+, 21+ in AZ and 19+ in NE. Not affiliated with any State Lottery. Gambling Problem? Call 1-877-8-HOPE-NY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY); 1-800-327-5050 (MA); 1-877-MYLIMIT (OR); 1-800-GAMBLER (all others). Visit for full terms and conditions.