CLIVE, IA — A southern Iowa woman who won $20,000 said she initially thought her prize was much smaller.

“I thought I had $2,000,” Valerie Musgrove said on Wednesday as she claimed her prize at lottery headquarters in Clive. “I was pretty excited about $2,000, but then I checked it again last night and I found out I had 10 words and that was $20,000. I was just so surprised.”

Musgrove, 23, of Bloomfield, won the 17th top prize in the Iowa Lottery’s “$20,000 Crossword” scratch game. She bought her winning ticket at BP, 206 N. Washington St. in Bloomfield.

In the $20,000 Crossword game, players try to complete words in the play area with a given set of letters. Musgrove thought she’d completed nine words, but she decided to double-check her prize by scanning the ticket with the Iowa Lottery mobile app. That’s when she realized her good fortune.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been this lucky in my life,” she said.

Musgrove, who works at a local daycare, said she plans to save the winnings for now.

“I think it just gives me a little bit of relief just having that there in case I need it,” she said.

The $20,000 Crossword game is a $2 scratch game that features 34 top prizes of $20,000 and overall odds of 1 in 3.46. For more information about this game, and the number of prizes still available, visit

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