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Lottery winners

Ray and Delena Eckstein

An Iowa woman quickly found an important purpose for her improved eyesight after having Lasik vision-correction surgery last week — she double-checked the lottery ticket her husband bought to confirm that they had indeed won a prize of $25,000 a year for life.

Ray Eckstein of Davenport said he used his laptop computer to look up the winning numbers from Thursday’s Lucky for Life drawing and thought their ticket had matched the first five numbers but missed the Lucky Ball.

"I spun it around to my wife and had her double-check it because she's got good eyes now!" he said as they both laughed. Delena Eckstein said she told him he was right — and then they had to wait through the long Labor Day holiday weekend before claiming their prize Tuesday at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive.

Ray Eckstein said they were excited, but nervous.

"We kept making sure the ticket was still good!" he said. "When you win like that, it’s kind of hard to believe."

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Ray, 58, who retired earlier this year after working for years in maintenance in the Quad-Cities area, and Delena, who works as a human-resources consultant, said they plan to put the bulk of their winnings into retirement savings. Ray said the additional infusion into their retirement accounts will make things easier.

"It puts your mind at ease because you’ve got a nest egg sitting back there,"he said.

They also said they need a new lawnmower and home furnace. The couple splurged in 2017 and bought a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle, so Ray admitted he might get some additional accessories for it.

The Ecksteins won Iowa’s fifth big prize in Lucky for Life since the lotto game debuted here in January 2016.

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