How an Iowa lottery winner turned his one-dollar winning into a ‘big’ check

Tyler Heep won a dollar from a $1 scratch-off ticket — and turned that into a “big” check.
Tyler Heep won a dollar from a $1 scratch-off ticket — and turned that into a “big” check. Screen grab from Tyler Heep's Facebook post

Tyler Heep scratched off his “Stinking Rich” lottery ticket earlier this month — it cost him $1 in “pocket change” — and checked to see if he won anything good.

He could have won up to $1,000 from the ticket that features a big skunk, according to the Iowa Lottery’s game rules. Heep, of Urbandale, Iowa, had a one in 125,100 chance of becoming “stinking rich” with the scratch-off ticket’s grand prize.

But when he looked down at his ticket to see if he won anything, he saw that he didn’t exactly win the big bucks.

He did win something else, though.

One. Whole. Dollar.

And Heep was excited, he told The Wichita Eagle in a Facebook message.

“Scratch off lottery tickets were a fun way to get rid of pocket change that had been gathering for a while,” he wrote. “So, winning anything was exciting.”

Players of “Stinking Rich” have a one in 7.50 chance of winning $1, according to the game rules.

But instead of just taking his ticket to the Kum and Go gas station in Clive, Iowa, where he bought his ticket, Heep had another idea.

“I just went by the state lottery office with a winning scratch off ticket,” Heep posted to Facebook on Jan. 4. “I Told them I’d like one of those big ceremonial checks as payment.”

“I figured it would be worth a shot and they all thought it was really funny,” he continued.

Lottery “officials said that they never hesitated to play along,” NBC News reported.

In fact, they treated him “like a million dollar winner,” Heep told WHO-TV in Iowa.

“The guy came down the stairs and they took me into the back room where the camera was with the Iowa Lottery logo,” Heep said, according to WHO. “Sure enough they wrote me the one dollar check and had me hold it up and took the picture.”

In the memo of that check were the words “Stinking Rich,” as seen in the photo posted to Facebook.

And that’s exactly how Heep turned his $1 winning into a “big” check.

Heep spent his “big” buck on a half a gallon of gas, he told the Eagle, and he plans to frame that check for safe keeping.

Before he framed it, though, he took his check to the gas station where he bought his ticket so the employees would know about his win.

“It made all the employees and customers in the busy store laugh,” Heep told The Eagle.