LINCOLN, Neb. -

A 3-year-old Nebraska boy decided it would be more fun to be part of a game instead of simply playing it.

The boy was found inside a stuffed animal claw machine at a bowling alley on Monday night. Police believe the boy crawled through the prize door to get into the pit.

"There must have been 25 people surrounding him but he didn't notice anybody," Rachel Hildreth, a bowling alley worker, told KETV. "He was just inside playing with the stuffed animals."

Police say the boy lives across the street from the bowling alley and walked to it while his mother was in the bathroom. When she realized her son was missing, the boy's mom called police.

Officers say they found a bowling alley customer in the parking lot who was looking for a missing parent. Police discovered the boy inside the claw machine was the same boy who disappeared from the home across the street.

Workers called the claw machine vendor, who used a key to open the machine.

The 3-year-old was given one of the stuffed animals from inside the machine.