31-year-old can’t believe her ‘mind-boggling’ Iowa lottery win. ‘Is this real life?’

Iowa Lottery

Jennyfer Akers bought two Iowa Lottery scratch tickets from a self-service kiosk at a Price Chopper grocery store — and both of them were winners.

While the first one was only worth $10, the second prize was much harder to believe, according to a news release from the Iowa Lottery.

The 31-year-old woman from Des Moines had won $250,000 from the “$250,000 Extreme Cash” scratch game ticket, officials said. This was the game’s 16th and final top prize.

“It’s really surreal,” Akers told lottery officials when claiming her prize on Wednesday, Feb. 1. “I had to pinch myself a couple different times. I had to be like, ‘Is this real life?’”

She immediately called her mom and best friend to share the exciting news, but neither of them answered.

“I’m just in my car and there are people around me and I look like I’m probably either really mad at someone or yelling at someone,” she said in the release. “I’m just celebrating to myself because there’s no one else to answer my phone calls.”

Akers, a convenience store assistant manager, said she never expected to win a prize like this.

“It’s not something that you think you’ll encounter,” she said Wednesday. “You kind of always dream about it, and it’s never a reality until it becomes a reality. That reality for me was yesterday afternoon, and it’s pretty mind-boggling.”

After taxes, she took home $177,500.

She plans to use her winnings to buy a new vehicle, visit her best friend in Florida, vacation with her boyfriend and share with family, according to the release.

“I have two nephews on the way, six months apart, so you bet that they are going to be spoiled rotten,” she told lottery officials.

If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.

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