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Iowa City Man Wins Custom-Built Tiny Home

Jim Rogers Claims Top Prize In Lottery Promotion

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CLIVE, Iowa - An Iowa City man admits he used to wonder if anyone really won the prizes offered in lottery promotions, but now he knows they do.

"I found out they have. It's me," Jim Rogers said with a laugh on Thursday as he claimed the grand prize in the Iowa Lottery's "Tiny Home, Big Wins!" promotion.

Rogers, 78, won a $60,000 gift certificate from Wind River Tiny Homes® of Chattanooga, Tenn., for a custom-built tiny home, along with two Home Depot® gift cards of $500. (State and federal withholding for the grand-prize package also are paid.)

"I've had a number of family that are interested in maybe looking at the home," he said. "I've got another gentleman maybe interested in it to put it out by his pond. But right now, we just haven't made any decisions about what we're going to do. It's too early."

Rogers, who owns an Iowa City company that makes specialized components for medical and industrial use, said he's a details guy, and he hopes to visit Wind River Tiny Homes in person to see the building process there.

"I've always got to find out what's going on," he said.

Jim said that he and his wife, Dawn, will try to work in a trip to the Chattanooga company later this month as they travel to Alabama to attend a reunion of the crew who served on the USS Hornet, a Navy aircraft carrier. Jim Rogers served on the ship from the late 1950s to early 1960s.

The lottery's "Tiny Home, Big Wins!" promotion began Jan. 3, the same day that a $5 instant-scratch game by the same name debuted. Tickets in the scratch game featured an image of a tiny home in a woodland setting and offered players the chance to win prizes from $5 up to $50,000.

Players who didn't win an instant prize could enter nonwinning tickets from that game in the promotion, which ran through late August. The promotion featured seven prize drawings, the first six of which each offered 20 prizes of $500 Home Depot gift cards. The promotion's grand-prize drawing was on Aug. 31, and the lottery called Jim Rogers that day to tell him he was the big winner.

Being a savvy person wary of scam attempts, he looked up the lottery's contact information and called lottery personnel back to verify that he really had won.

"I asked if it was real," he recalled. "It's exciting, it's been fun, and I'll keep buying tickets."

Rogers said that after the lottery called him, he went out and bought another ticket in the Tiny Home, Big Wins scratch game as a keepsake.

"I wasn't going to scratch it," he said with a smile. "But after a day and a half, I had to scratch it."

That ticket didn't win a prize, so he's still keeping it as a slightly altered keepsake.

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