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James Griffiths

James Griffiths claims top prize in ‘Aces High’ scratch game.

A Quad-City man has won a large Iowa Lottery prize for the second time in two years.

James Griffiths won a $250,000 top prize in the Iowa Lottery’s “Aces High” scratch game. He had won a $30,000 prize in a different scratch game in April 2017.

“The first one didn’t make me that nervous,” Griffiths told lottery officials as he claimed his prize Oct. 30 at lottery headquarters in Clive. With his huge second prize, “I kept looking at the ticket and wondering if it was really real.”

The Rock Island man is a former Des Moines resident who still spends time in the metro area in his job as a construction superintendent.

On the way to a jobsite, he stopped next door at Kum & Go, 1825 N. Ankeny Blvd. in Ankeny, to redeem a smaller prize on an Aces High ticket. He decided to purchase another one that proved to be a big winner.

“It was actually the last number I scratched,” he said. “And when I scratched it and saw it matched, I thought, ‘What’d I do wrong here?’ I just couldn’t believe it was $250,000.”

Griffiths scanned the ticket on the Iowa Lottery’s LotteryPlus mobile app to confirm it was a winner, then called his wife, Teresa, with the news. She was skeptical.

“She still doesn’t believe I won it,” he said.

Griffiths said he and his wife plan to eliminate debt and donate to charity.

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