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Cedar Rapids Co-Workers Win $1 Million In Promotion Spurred By Unclaimed Prize

Unusual Situation Led To 'Woo Hoo A Million For You'

CLIVE, Iowa - A group of co-workers at a Cedar Rapids company on Wednesday won the $1 million prize in a lottery promotion that came about after another big prize in Iowa had expired without being claimed.

The Iowa Lottery held the prize drawing Wednesday in the "Woo Hoo A Million For You Giveaway," and an entry that Laurie Ginder of Anamosa made on behalf of her office pool at Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids was selected as the promotion's $1 million winner. The group of 34 co-workers call themselves The Dream Big Team.

"I'm excited! I never thought this would happen," she said upon learning the news.

Ginder got the call Wednesday from the Iowa Lottery as she was on her lunch hour, running an errand on behalf of her office pool. "I'm on my way to buy the last of our tickets for tonight's (Powerball) drawing!" she said with a laugh.

Iowa Lottery CEO Matt Strawn made the call to Ginder to tell her that her entry in the promotion had been selected as the $1 million winner.

"I'm excited for you," he said. "We've never had this happen in the history of the Iowa Lottery before, where we had a $1 million unclaimed Powerball prize. So the fact that we did this promotion, it's the first time we ever did anything like this."

In April, a $1 million Powerball® prize expired in central Iowa without being claimed. The Iowa Lottery had issued several reminders about that unclaimed prize and held repeated events at the Nevada store where the winning ticket was purchased, but a winner never came forward.

Under Iowa law, the money from lottery prizes that expire without being claimed goes into the lottery's prize pools for future games and promotions, so the lottery decided to hold a promotion this spring to give away the $1 million. The promotion's name was a nod to the lottery's long-time celebratory catch phrase of "Woo Hoo For You."

From May 29 through Tuesday morning, lottery players could enter the promotion with any Powerball ticket they purchased in Iowa during that three-week timeframe. Players made a total of 165,265 entries into the promotion.

Ginder purchased the ticket that became her office pool's $1 million winning entry at Casey's, 500 E. Main St. in Anamosa. Casey's will receive a $1,000 bonus from the lottery for selling that lucky ticket.

This is the fifth lottery prize of at least $1 million to be won in Iowa in 2019.

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