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2 Extra Lucky Linn County Lottery Players Claim Their 2nd Big Lottery Prize

Diane Leahy Wins $100,000 & Adam Ellwood Wins $25,000

Diane Leahy  Hear Diane tell her story.

CLIVE, Iowa - Two lucky lottery players from Linn County each claimed big prizes this week.

Diane Leahy of Cedar Rapids claimed a top prize of $100,000 in the lottery's "The BIG Ticket" scratch game; and Adam Ellwood of Marion claimed a top prize of $25,000 in the "Bonus Ball Bingo" game.

It was the second big lottery win for both players. Leahy also claimed a scratch game prize of $25,000 in August 2014; and Ellwood had claimed a $30,000 prize less than a month ago.

Leahy, 69, credits her lottery luck to being in the right place at the right time. She said she bought her most recent winning ticket Wednesday at Casey's, 501 Sixth St. SW in Cedar Rapids. She said she saw that another Iowa Lottery player recently won $10,000 playing that game, so she decided to try it.

"I scratched it and I was looking at the numbers and I went, ‘What are those?'" Leahy told lottery employees Wednesday as she claimed her prize at the lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.

Leahy, a retired accountant, said she thought her lottery luck had run out three years ago when she won $25,000.

"About three years ago I won $25,000 and that left me speechless," she said. "I kept having to stop the car and go, ‘OK. You won $25,000.' So, I don't know how I made it to the lottery office today, I have no idea."

Adam Ellwood  Hear Adam tell his story.

Ellwood had just claimed a $30,000 prize on Feb. 27 before claiming his $25,000 on Wednesday. He jokingly said he has a strategy for picking winning tickets that he plans to keep to himself.

"I've got a strategy that seems to be working out," Ellwood told lottery employees Wednesday as he claimed his prize at the lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids. "Everybody keeps asking me, but I'm not trying to give up my method."

Ellwood, 27, bought his most recent winning ticket Tuesday at Casey's, 2020 Seventh Ave. N. in Marion. He said he is still in disbelief over winning the lottery twice that he hasn't given much thought to what he plans to do with his winnings, yet.

Leahy just retired in January so she plans to use a portion of her lottery winnings to make some repairs to her home and save the rest.

"This is my retirement gift I guess," she said.

And Leahy said she's already getting requests from family, friends and other people to "rub her shoulder for good luck."

"They all think I'm the luckiest thing in the world because I have had some good luck with the lottery, but I don't think any of them even expected I'd win this much," she said.

The BIG Ticket scratch game is a $20 ticket and Bonus Ball Bingo is a $2 ticket. More details about how to play this and other scratch games, and the number of prizes still up for grabs in it can be found on our website.

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