$2 present turns into $10K for Waterloo man - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

$2 present turns into $10K for Waterloo man

DES MOINES (KWWL) -- A Waterloo man is proof some of those lottery tickets people get as Christmas presents can pay... big time.

Joshua Osborn, 26, a plumber for Hudson Hardware, won the top prize of $10,000 in the "It's A Wonderful Life" lottery scratch game based upon the popular holiday movie.  This Christmas story starts like many others, Osborn went to his in-laws' house over the holiday season.  His wife's uncle had bought everyone It's a Wonderful Life scratch tickets.

"I was the first one to scratch mine," said Osborn.  "And I won $10,000." At first the family didn't believe him. "I scratched it in front of her uncle," stated Osborn.  "Everybody else was busy opening other presents. But then I showed it to them."

Everyone else then grabbed their tickets, but Osborn's was the only big winner in the bunch.

Osborn claimed his $10,000 prize Monday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids. Osborn's uncle-in-law purchased the winning ticket at Casey's, 1441 First Ave. N. in Altoona.

Osborn was still debating on what he'll use his winnings for.

"I think we're gonna catch up on bills," said Osborn. "Other than that I think we're going to buy a TV."

Seven top prizes of $10,000 are still up for grabs in the game as well as more than 135 prizes of $100 and thousands of smaller prizes. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 3.65.

Since the Iowa Lottery's start in 1985, its players have won more than $2.2 billion in prizes while more than $1.1 billion has been raised for state programs.

The $2 tickets in the It's A Wonderful Life scratch game feature an image from the movie of the same name, which starred the actor Jimmy Stewart and Iowa's own Donna Reed. The lottery has partnered with the Donna Reed Foundation in Denison in issuing the nostalgic game.

"It's A Wonderful Life," released in 1946, has gone on to become an annual staple of the holidays. The movie's storyline recounts the life of George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, who is driven to considering suicide on Christmas Eve. Luckily, George's guardian angel arrives in his hour of need and shows him just how valuable his life has been to all of those around him. Donna Reed plays Mary Bailey, George's wife.

Donna Reed was born Donnabelle Mullenger in Denison on Jan. 27, 1921. At age 16, she left Denison by train for Los Angeles to complete her formal education and to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. Her dream became a reality as she captivated the country with her sensitive portrayals in films. Reed is perhaps best remembered for her work on her own television series, "The Donna Reed Show," which aired from 1958 through 1966. She played the role of an honest, humorous, and nurturing mother much like her real self.

The Donna Reed Foundation was formed in Denison in 1987 by members of Donna Reed's hometown community, her family and friends. The foundation encourages and supports talent through scholarships, workshops, and promotion of stage plays, concerts, and other cultural activities. It also operates a performing arts center and museum in Denison.

Online Producer:  JJ Murray

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