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Pocatello man wins $50K from lottery

A Pocatello man won $50,000 from the Idaho Lottery.

He stopped in the Common Cents store at 17th and Holmes Road in Idaho Falls and almost didn’t buy the Idaho Lottery $5 Big Money Cashword Scratch ticket last weekend, but then decided to because he needed something to do before the start of the movie he was headed to see. Cruz initially started scratching the ticket in the movie theatre and thought he’d won $20. When the lights dimmed and the movie started, he slipped the ticket into his pocket and watched the film.

The next day, on his way back to Pocatello, he had the ticket scanned.

“When they told me I had to go to Boise to claim it, I thought I’d only won $1,000,” said Cruz in a news release from the Idaho Lottery. “When I got home, I realized I’d missed a word where I folded the ticket. After I scratched it off, I kept looking at it and looking at it. Sure enough, it was a $50,000 winner!”

Cruz just returned from duty in Iraq and is enrolled at Idaho State University studying sports management.

A mixed martial arts professional, Cruz had a fight that night but said it was hard to concentrate, and ended up not winning.

“I was probably the happiest guy ever to lose a fight,” he said.

Cruz plans to invest his winnings until he finishes college and then use the funds to open his own mixed martial arts gym.

For its part in selling the winning ticket, Common Cents receives a bonus from the Idaho Lottery of $5,000.

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