James Stone

(Shenandoah) -- A Shenandoah man is $100,000 richer after winning a top prize on an Iowa Lottery scratch off ticket.

The lottery announced Friday that 53-year-old James Stone -- a chef at Shenandoah Medical Center -- won the prize in the $10 Happy Holidays Crossword game. Stone is a regular at Casey's General Store at 501 West Clarinda Avenue, where he purchased the winning ticket.

"I usually buy tickets and they know me there," said Stone. "When I went in, the guy said as I was walking away 'No tickets?' I grabbed two of the $10 ones and two of the $5 crossword ones."

Stone says he left the tickets in his truck at work until his lunch break.

"I scratched the bottom ticket off and it was six red ones," said Stone. "I looked down the side to see how much that was worth, and I looked at the six black and thought I won $500 at that point. Then I realized it was red, so I went down and saw the red thing said $100,000. I ran into work and had them verify it was real. It was crazy."

Stone claimed the prize Wednesday at the Lottery regional office in Council Bluffs. He says he has a couple plans for how to spend his winnings.

"There's a couple of houses I've been looking at that would be good rentals," said Stone. "I thought something like that so I would always have something going on. I've got nine grandchildren and extra step grandchildren, so it'll be a good Christmas for them."

The Happy Holidays Crossword features seven top prizes of $100,000.