A Cedar Falls man got a pleasant surprise last week when he tried to redeem what he thought was a $25 winning lottery ticket at a local convenience store.

Chad Wilming, 43, ended up winning the third of six top prizes of $25,000 available in the Iowa Lottery's "Holiday Time Bingo" scratch game.

"I thought it was a $25 winner and I forgot to scratch off the bonus numbers and two of the bonus numbers completed the 'X' (pattern) on the ticket, but I didn't (see) that until the guy behind the counter told me," Wilming told lottery employees Wednesday as he claimed his prize at the lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

Wilming, a middle school special education teacher, said he plays the lottery about once a year. He said he bought his winning ticket Saturday at Hy-Vee Gas, 2435 NW Arterial Ashbury Road in Dubuque while visiting family in the area.

"I just saw that there were some (holiday scratch tickets) there and I'm like, 'Well, it's the holidays so I'll just buy four,'" he said.

Wilming said he plans to use his winnings to buy a minivan and a pop-up travel trailer.

"It's kind of a load off, we don't have to worry about other stuff," he said.

To learn more about the latest Iowa Lottery games, visit their website at www.ialottery.com.

Contributed By: Iowa Lottery

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