BOISE -- A Pocatello man is celebrating his good fortune after winning $50,000 from the Idaho Lottery on one of their scratch games.

Andrew Cruz stopped in the Common Cents store in Idaho Falls last weekend to buy a $5 Big Money Cashword Scratch ticket prior to going to the movies. He scratched the ticket while in the theater and thought he'd won $20.

He waited until the next day to have the ticket scanned.

When they told me I had to go to Boise to claim it, I thought I d only won $1,000, said Cruz who just returned from duty in Iraq and is enrolled at Idaho State University studying sports management. When I got home, I realized I d missed a word where I folded the ticket. After I scratched it off, I kept looking at it and looking at it. Sure enough, it was a $50,000 winner!

Cruz, who is a mixed martial arts professional, had a fight that night but said it was hard to concentrate, and ended up losing.

I was probably the happiest guy ever to lose a fight, he said with a wide grin.

Cruz says he plans to invest his winnings until he finishes college and then use the funds to open his own mixed martial arts gym.

For selling the winning ticket, Common Cents receives a $5,000 bonus from the Idaho Lottery.

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