Sioux City man wins $25,000 lottery, thought he won only $500

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CLIVE, Iowa — A Sioux City man has won a $25,000 lottery prize.

Ramon Puente, 21, won the 21st top prize in the Iowa Lottery’s “Wild Bingo” scratch game. He purchased the winning ticket at Casey’s on 524 11th St. in Correctionville, where he stopped on a trip to Ames to help his girlfriend move.

“It’s kind of a thing of hers and I. We buy the $2 Bingo lottery tickets and we just scratch them off kind of as a little date thing,” Puente told officials on Tuesday as he claimed his prize at the lottery’s Storm Lake regional office. “It wasn’t different than any other time.”

Puente thought he won $500 until his girlfriend checked the ticket with the Iowa Lottery’s mobile app.

“She’s like, ‘Umm, you just won $25,000!’” he said. “We just kind of freaked out for about 10 minutes and then we finally calmed down.”

The couple double-checked the numbers and scanned the ticket again, then took it to a nearby store to check, just to be sure.

“It was kind of a shock, like, ‘This can’t be right,’” said Puente.

Puente plans to put his winnings toward paying for college.

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