A Shenandoah man said it was hard to focus on work after he scratched off a $100,000 lottery prize on his lunch break.

James Stone, 53, won the second top prize in the Iowa Lottery’s “$100,000 Happy Holidays Crossword” scratch game. He purchased his winning ticket at Casey’s, 501 W. Clarinda Ave. in Shenandoah.

“I burned a lot of food yesterday,” Stone, a head chef at a hospital, said with a laugh. “I couldn’t think of what I was doing last. I had like 20 things going at once.”

Stone said he’s a regular at the Casey’s and usually buys lottery tickets, too. He stopped that morning for a donut, and almost left without buying a ticket before an employee asked if he wanted one. He said he did.

When he scratched off his ticket later that day, he thought he’d won $500 until he realized it was much more: $100,000.

“I ran into work and had them help me verify that it was real,” Stone said. “It was crazy.”

Stone claimed his prize on Wednesday at the lottery’s regional office in Council Bluffs. He said he is looking at a couple rental properties, and plans to use part of his winnings to ensure a great Christmas for his grandchildren.

The $100,000 Happy Holidays Crossword is a $10 scratch game. It features seven top prizes of $100,000 and overall odds of 1 in 3.30.

Nonwinning holiday scratch tickets can be entered into the lottery’s Ho Ho Dough Play it Again® promotion from now through Jan. 7 at 8:59 a.m. The promotion includes $200,000 in cash prizes. Tickets can be entered online or through the LotteryPlus mobile app. For rules and complete details, visit www.ialottery.com.

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