Last week, I told you about the lottery ticket worth over $40 million that was sold in eastern Iowa. Now, we know who bought it and the news is just as good. The ticket was purchased by an Iowan with plans to do incredible good with the money.

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As you can see above, the man who bought the ticket is Eric Lape. He actually purchased the ticket for the Lotto America jackpot, which hadn't been won since July of 2021, on April Fool's Day. Lape's purchase on Saturday, April 1 for that day's jackpot won him the largest Lotto America jackpot in history. It was for a whopping $40,030,000.

So how did Lape, a 61-year-old lifelong resident of Dubuque, react when he found out he won the jackpot? He told the Iowa Lottery on Monday, April 10, "I laughed. I thought it was April Fools. I thought it was a joke."

Then Lape took the ticket to Eichman's, a family-owned restaurant and convenience store in Dubuque that's been in business for 92 years. It's the same place he purchased the ticket. Taking no chances, Lape had already signed the ticket. He recalls handing the ticket to a clerk to have it checked: "She scanned it and then smiled and said, 'You are the winner!'"

Lape, a retired mechanic, decided on the lump sum payment and claimed an incredible $21.28 million. Amazing stuff when you consider a Lotto America ticket costs just one dollar.

My favorite part of Lape's jackpot win is what he says he's going to do with the money. Sure he'll invest so the jackpot can help future generations of his family, but he also has a special plan for some of it... to donate to both the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital in Iowa City, and Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines.

Why give to Iowa's two children's hospitals? Lape told the Iowa Lottery, "If it weren't for our parents to show us the way, where would we be? That's why I want to help kids. A lot of parents don't have the money and a lot of insurance companies don't cover it, but the kids still need treatment." That's a sentiment we can all appreciate and it's a big reason to celebrate Earl Lape's win.

Lape is now the 6th biggest winner all-time in Iowa Lottery history. You can see the entire Top 10 below.

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