It could not have happened to a nicer guy, friends and family say of Ova Lee Lucas of Pleasant Valley, who won $200,000 this week in the Iowa Lottery’s $100,000 Cash Game.
Yes, $200,000 in the game. And it’s how he came to win the money that is causing people to shake their heads and smile at Lucas’ luck.
Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Tina Potthoff said Lucas told gaming officials in Cedar Rapids that he did not realize he had purchased a ticket for Wednesday’s $100,000 Cash Game.
So he went back to the Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard at 2620 Central Ave. in Bettendorf, where he is a regular, and purchased another ticket, Potthoff said.
She said that since Lucas always plays the same numbers, the two tickets were identical. And, of course, the numbers were spot on: 3-12-21-23-30.
“He got his check this afternoon,” Potthoff said Friday. The grand total came to $140,000 after taxes — 25 percent to the feds and 5 percent to Iowa.
Lucas could not be reached for comment Friday by the Quad-City Times.
“He’s a lucky coot,” Lucas’ sister-in-law, Susan Lucas, said with a boisterous laugh. She is married to Ralph Lucas of Davenport. She said that Ova Lucas works at Alcoa.
“His heart goes out to everybody,” Susan Lucas said of Ova. “He’s very good and very kind.”
But, she added, all 11 of Ova’s brothers and sisters are like that, too.
“He comes from a family of 12 kids,” she said, adding that they are all close. “I can’t wait to call the sister in Wisconsin, and the sisters in Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky.”
At the Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, clerk Dave Quakenbush said Lucas had been in Friday morning.
“He’s one of our regulars and everybody’s happy for him,” Quakenbush said. “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”
He said that while in the store, Lucas got his Powerball ticket.
Then, it was off to Cedar Rapids to collect his winnings.