CLIVE — On a day he overslept and was rushing to catch up, a southern Iowa man learned he’d won a lottery prize of $25,000 a year for life.
Brent Oden of Cincinnati said he normally would have checked the results of his Lucky for Life® ticket on the Iowa Lottery’s mobile app, but in his rush, he instead gave it to a clerk at a local store to scan on the lottery terminal.
“We went in for coffee after we did some chores on the farm,” he said. “I handed my tickets to one of the cashiers, and she ran it. And she looked at me, she looked back at the machine, and she said, ‘I think you just hit something big.’ I said, ‘Surely not.’ And everybody was kind of in shock and awe for a little bit.”
Oden, 56, who farms and owns a sanitation business, is Iowa’s 19th big winner in Lucky for Life since the game’s January 2016 debut in the state. His lucky ticket matched the first five numbers but missed the Lucky Ball in Tuesday’s drawing to win the game’s second prize of $25,000 a year for life.
Oden bought his winning easy-pick ticket at Bratz Oil Corp., located at 102 Drake Ave. in Centerville, the same store where he returned to have the ticket checked.
“And lo and behold, my stars fell in a row today or something,” Oden said Wednesday afternoon as he claimed his prize at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive.
Word in his community of about 290 spread quickly.
“I spent the rest of my morning at our office trying to get prepared for this,” he said as he claimed his prize. “And I had grandkids, children, several friends and people in the community calling, wanting to know if it was true to start with, you know. And I said, ‘I think it is. I’m not for sure, but yeah.’”
The winning numbers in Tuesday’s Lucky for Life drawing were 1-15-20-31-44 and Lucky Ball 18. Bratz Oil will receive a $500 bonus from the lottery for selling the winning ticket.
Oden’s wife, Julie, was with him as he claimed his prize, and said it was a moment he’d been predicting for years.
“Since we were married, he always played the lottery, and he’s always told me, ‘We’re going to hit the big one. We’re going to win the lottery,’” she said. “And after 25 years of being married and we had never hit the lottery, I thought, ‘Maybe I ought to second-guess this guy, I don’t think we’re ever going to hit this lottery!’”
Brent Oden clarified that a bit.
“We’ve hit some smaller prizes,” he said. “But they always say, ‘If you’ve got a dollar and a dream, you never know!’” he said. “It’s true!”
Brent Oden chose to receive his prize in its lump-sum option of $390,000. The Odens said they plan to invest most of the winnings, but may spend some on a trip to Hawaii to fulfill Brent’s pledge that they would go back after their honeymoon there.
“So I guess I can come through with that promise,” he said.
Oden’s prize was the fourth major win by a lottery player in Iowa in five days. The winning streak started with a $1 million Mega Millions® prize won Friday in Davenport. Then on Saturday, an InstaPlay jackpot of nearly $400,000 was won in Cascade and a Powerball® prize of $2 million was won in Ottumwa. An Ottumwa woman claimed the $2 million Powerball prize on Monday, while Oden claimed his prize on Wednesday.The other two major prizes remain unclaimed.
Brent Oden said he felt lucky on a few different levels to be claiming his prize.
“When I was 43, I had an aortic aneurism. I had three major surgeries and I was in the ICU here in Des Moines for 21 days,” he said. “And I beat it. I did code once and they brought me back. And they said, ‘You’re a lucky man, go find out why you’re still here.’ I guess this might be part of the reason why I’m still here.”