Ottumwa woman buys bamboo, wins $21,000 lottery prize

Lottery Winner Paula Thomas

An Ottumwa woman credits some â??lucky bambooâ?? to her recent big lottery win.

Paula Thomas said she purchased the bamboo the day before her husband, Tom, bought her a â??Deluxe 7-11-21â?? instant-scratch ticket at Penn and Jefferson BP, 1147 N. Jefferson St. in Ottumwa.

That ticket ended up being the 14th of 19 top prizes of $21,000 available in the game.

Thomas, a registered nurse, said she shared her story at work and all or her co-workers want some of her good luck. â??Theyâ??re going to go out and buy some lucky bamboo like I did,â?? Thomas told lottery employees April 2 as she claimed her prize at the lotteryâ??s headquarters in Des Moines. â??Theyâ??re all shopping for lucky bamboo.â??

Thomas said sheâ??s still in disbelief about winning a big lottery prize.

â??I came home from work and my husband said he had something for me,â?? she said. â??I went in and I got it and I looked at it and I was ecstatic.â??

Thomas said many family members and friends were also in disbelief when she shared her good news with them.

â??The ones that do believe it, theyâ??re real happy for us,â?? she said.

Thomas said her lottery winnings will be used to purchase a newer vehicle and for home renovations.

Five top prizes of $21,000 are still up for grabs in Deluxe 7-11-21®, along with 18 prizes of $2,100 and 139 prizes of $210.

Lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: Providing support for veterans, helping a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund, and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.