Indianola Hy-Vee Gas sells winning Hot Lotto ticket

Indianola Hy-Vee Gas sells winning Hot Lotto ticket

by Josh BrammerStaff Writer

Someone is $19.97 million richer. But who?

That’s the question everyone is asking. Someone bought the winning Hot Lotto ticket right here in Indianola at the Hy-Vee Gas on North Jefferson. The ticket matched all six numbers for the Jan. 13 drawing, which were 3-18-27-38-39 and Hot Ball 10.

Nevertheless, no one has come forward to claim the prize at Hy-Vee or the Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines.

“We’ve had lots of people come in and tell us what they think, and there are a lot of rumors floating around,” said Ron Fridley, manager of Hy-Vee Gas. “I hope the winner is someone who comes in every day and shops at Hy-Vee.”

Selling the winning ticket has boosted lottery sales at the Indianola Hy-Vee.

“The week after the winning ticket was announced, we doubled our lotto sales, and it has definitely generated a lot of excitement,” Fridley said.

The Hot Lotto game started in April 2002. It offers play similar to the Powerball game, but with easier odds.

“The odds of winning the Powerball Jackpot are 1 in 146 million, and the odds for this particular Hot Lotto drawing were roughly 1 in 10.939 million,” said Tina Pothoff, public affairs manager for the Iowa Lottery. “Not only did Iowa have the first jackpot in the game, but this is the sixth jackpot won in the state, and it’s also a record jackpot.”

In the game, players pick five numbers from a group of 39 and a Hot Ball from a group of 19. The jackpot starts at $1 million and keeps growing each week until someone matches all six numbers. After that, the jackpot returns to a guaranteed $1 million again.

Hot Lotto is played in nine states, including Iowa. Tickets cost $1, and the drawings happen on Wednesdays and Saturdays around 10 p.m. after the Powerball drawing.

Students have different ideas about what they’d do with that much money.

“I’d go shopping, donate some to charity and pay off school,” freshman Lynnette Snyder said.

Other students would help their families with the money.

“I’d pay off my parents’ mortgage and credit cards,” senior Alejandro Manso said. “I would, of course, pay off my student bills, and I would also invest a bit of it.”

Other students said they’d travel or buy a car, but the most common answer was, of course, that they’d pay off their education.

Faculty and staff had some of the same responses.

“I guess I would pay off all my student loans first,” Lecturer Lynda Domino said. “Then I would invest it, so it would keep making money for me. I would also make substantial donations to some causes that are close to my heart, and I think I would like to set up a scholarship or fellowship for students studying history.”

Other staff members would plan to give some of the money back to the college.

“First I would pay off my debt, and then I’d make sure to invest it in certain things along with donating some money to my church, Simpson and SAE,” Admissions Counselor Andy English said.

One thing is sure. The possibilities are pretty much endless with that kind of money. Someone got very lucky.