Winning the lottery is a thrill. I once won $100 off a scratch ticket and thought I was on top of the world. I can't imagine winning a scratch ticket jackpot. Especially if that jackpot is a massive $50,000!

Well, that's exactly what happened this month to a Cedar Falls man. He was able to make the holiday season a bit more memorable, and a lot more profitable by turning a 5-dollar bill into a $50,000 (oversized) check!

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James Nuss won the sixth top prize in the Iowa Lottery's "Lucky Cherries", according to the Iowa Lottery website. The "Lucky Cherries" game debuted in June, and there are still two grand prizes left.

James Nuss via the Iowa Lottery
James Nuss via the Iowa Lottery

Nuss purchased his ticket at Happy's Wine & Spirits in Cedar Falls. Nuss joins another recent eastern Iowa winner, Rigoberto Lares Ramirez, who scored a massive $100,000 payday playing the "Hit It Big!" scratch game.

Rigoberto Lares Ramirez grabbed his winning ticket at the Walmart in Decorah. Needless to say, he'll have a very happy New Years!

Rigoberto Lares Ramirez via the Iowa Lottery
Rigoberto Lares Ramirez via the Iowa Lottery

As a reminder, if you win any Iowa Lottery prize, going forward, you'll have less time to claim that prize. The Iowa Lottery is reducing the amount of time from a full year of 365 days to roughly half of that, 180 days.

According to an Iowa Lottery official, there are between 1.2 and 1.5 million dollars worth of winning tickets that expire in Iowa each year without the prize being claimed by its winner.

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