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Iowa man takes home $1M Mega Millions prize after lucky mistake

Josh Busters feels like a clerk's mistake in a lottery ticket printing might have made the stars align in his eventual winning.
Credit: Iowa Lottery

WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa — A West Burlington man won a $1 million prize from Mega Millions in the Iowa Lottery - and he feels like a clerk's mistake made the stars align in his favor.

Josh Buster was at a local convenience store when he asked the clerk for five easy-pick plays for the Mega Millions drawing on Friday, April 15.

Accidentally, the clerk only printed only one number, before realizing his mistake and asking Buster if he could print four more on a separate ticket, to which Buster agreed.

"I feel like that changed the numbers that I would have gotten if he had put them all on one instead of making that mistake,” Buster said.

The 40-year-old chef claimed his $1 million prize on Monday, April 18 after scanning the tickets on the lottery app before going to work; he ran back inside his home in disbelief after seeing the results.

"I don’t usually have good luck, so I thought it was a mistake and there was going to be an error,” he said. “So I Googled the lottery numbers to make sure I had the right ones, and I did! And then the rest of the day, I’m just waiting to wake up from a dream.” 

Buster's win is the second seven-digit prize to go to Iowa in 2022, following a $2 million win by a New Hampton couple in January.

Buster will take home $710,000 after state and federal withholdings.

He says he's going to use the prize money in a practical fashion, with money going into paying off his car, the mortgage on his mom's house, and the rest going into his retirement fund."

“It will take away a lot of my stress in my life — no more of the financial worries,” Buster said.

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