When Jon Moss won $300,000 in the Iowa Lottery a year ago, he and his wife didn’t splurge with the winnings.
The former Grand Island resident and his spouse, Victoria, made some investments. But the bulk of the money went toward buying a new house.
If you want to see what the house looks like, you can see it tonight on HGTV. The Mosses will appear on “My Lottery Dream Home,” which airs at 8 p.m. CST.
Jon Moss, who graduated from Grand Island Senior High in 1998, now lives in metropolitan Des Moines.
In January of 2019, he won the first of eight top prizes in the Iowa Lottery’s “$300,000 Platinum Cash” scratch game. The ticket cost $30.
When he hit the jackpot the couple was living in Altoona. Since 2011, Moss has been the executive director of the Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Association.
He and Victoria, an Iowa native, don’t have kids yet. “But we’re planning to,” he said. That’s one reason they wanted a larger home.
They also knew a house would be a smart buy. “For us, it was a great investment of the money,” he said.
Homes typically appreciate in value. They also looked in areas where a home’s value would continue to increase in value over the next 20 or 30 years or so.
To actually decide which house, they had assistance from the HGTV show.
The Mosses have watched “My Lottery Dream Home” in the past, but representatives of the show contacted them. The program focuses on lottery winners who want to use their winnings to buy a new house.
The Mosses told HGTV how much they wanted to spend, as well as their preferences for the home.
The show, taped in December, follows the couple as they choose one of three houses. Those homes were in Ankeny, Altoona and Pleasant Hill.
The couple signed a confidentiality agreement.
So we can’t say which of the three homes the couple chose, which is fine with Moss. “Because we want everybody to watch,” he said.
The new home, though, is only a couple of miles from their old house.
And they love it. “It’s great,” he said.
Moss, 39, is part of a longtime Nebraska horse racing family.
His great-grandfather, grandfather and father were all trainers. “Grandpa was there the first year that they had horse racing out there at Fonner Park,” he said, referring to the late Jim Moss.
His great-grandfather, Albert, started racing in the 1920s, after raising cattle near Wolbach. Getting into the horse business, he traveled a circuit of small fairs across the Midwest.
His parents, Joe and Lisa Moss, live in Phillips. Joe, now a retired trainer, was the conditioner of Leaping Plum, one of Fonner Park’s all-time great sprinters.
The Mosses haven’t seen tonight’s episode yet. “We’re hoping it turned out OK.”
But they enjoyed the experience.
They were impressed with host David Bromstad. “He’s as warm and outgoing and personable in real life, when the cameras are off, as he is during the show,” Moss said.
The producers want to capture the prospective homebuyers’ authentic response to each home.
For that reason, the staff “would kind of keep us back” until the property was ready to see.
He also enjoyed working with the director. “They had a crew of about seven people that come in from all over the U.S.,” he said. They were very professional, outgoing and efficient.
Because of modern equipment, the crew can set up in a restaurant in an hour, get the “really good shot that they’re looking for,” and be gone an hour later, he said.
Not only was the experience fun, but it was something different. The couple had “never done anything like this before,” he said.
If other people would like to buy a home with their lottery winnings, they shouldn’t be afraid of the show, he said.
He’d also like to spread another message.
“Gambling is not necessarily the evil that everybody thinks it is. There can be positive outcomes,” he said.