A Dubuque woman found out she won a big Powerball prize by opening an early birthday present from her family.
Sue Steiner, 56, is a regular Powerball player, but hadn't had a chance to check her recent tickets. Sue's daughter found out that there was a $10,000-winning ticket sold for the Dec. 11 drawing at Eagle Country Market, 1800 Elm St. in Dubuque ? the same place where her mom buys tickets ? and checked her mom's Powerball ticket online.
When it was discovered that Sue had the $10,000-winning ticket, Sue's daughter put the ticket in a birthday card and gathered the immediate family Dec. 12 for an impromptu celebration. Sue's birthday was Dec. 13.
"Here I am, I'm standing there munching on some peanuts and they're like, 'Are you going to get going and open up some gifts here?'" Steiner said. "They all knew it but me. It was one heck of a surprise."
When Steiner opened the birthday card with the winning Powerball ticket, she didn't believe that she had won.
"I just couldn't believe it until they brought it up on the computer to show me," she said.
Steiner matched four white balls and the Powerball in the Dec. 11 drawing to win a $10,000 lottery prize. She claimed her prize Wednesday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.
Steiner, who works at Marshall Elementary School in Dubuque, said she has been playing the same set of numbers for a long time.
"I've been playing them so long I forgot what the meaning was at that time," she said.
Steiner said her lottery winnings will be saved for retirement.
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