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Iowa Legislators satisfied with Lottery's handling of mystery jackpot winner

Hot LottoHot Lotto: Iowa Legislators satisfied with Lottery's handling of mystery jackpot winner
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DES MOINES, Iowa — State lawmakers gave Iowa Lottery officials high marks Tuesday for the way they handled the mysterious circumstances surrounding a winning Hot Lotto jackpot that went unclaimed when attorneys representing a trust that turned in a valid ticket withdrew a claim for the multimillion-dollar prize last week.

"That's the damndest thing I've every heard of," Sen. Tom Courtney, D-Burlington, said after lottery officials walked members of the Legislature's Oversight Committee through a 13-month saga that began when a Hot Lotto ticket valued at up to $16.5 million matched the grand-prize numbers drawn on Dec. 29, 2010, and was turned in a year later less than two hours before the jackpot was slated to expire bearing the name of a New York attorney who was acting on behalf of an investment trust based in Belize.

Iowa Lottery chief Terry Rich said his agency met with attorney Crawford Shaw on one occasion, but he was unable to provide the information necessary to verify that the ticket was legally purchased, possessed and presented for validation. Eventually, the claim by Hexham Investment Trust was withdrawn but the events surrounding the unusual situation triggered a criminal probe by the state Division of Investigation and the Iowa Attorney General's Office, which is still ongoing and prevented Lottery officials from providing state legislators with all the answers they sought during Tuesday's hearing.

"From our standpoint, this case is closed," said Rich, who told lawmakers his authority was as transparent and upfront with Iowans as they could be to protect the integrity of the lottery and he believed the system worked as it should even though the outcome left people hanging.

"I feel very comfortable with the rules you have set up," the lottery chief told Oversight Committee members who peppered Rich and his legal, investigative and support staff with "what if" questions that led to an unknown claimant walking away from a potential $10.75 million cash payment after taxes or an annuity that could have provided a valid winner annual payments of $400,000 for 25 years.

Lottery officials had set a 3 p.m. Friday deadline last week for attorneys representing Hexham to provide them with basic information about who bought the winning ticket and some of the circumstances surrounding the year-long wait for the signed ticket to be turned in for validation so they could determine if was legally purchased, legally possessed and legally presented.

The Iowa Lottery received a letter from the Davis Brown law firm in Des Moines specifying that if the jackpot were to be paid to the trust, that all of the winnings would be donated to charity — minus attorney fees. However, lottery officials declined to pay the prize because required information was not provided.

"Like a lot of Iowans, we want to know what went on here, but it seems to me that the system works and it's worked in this case so far, at least based on what we know," said Rep. Chris Hagenow, R-Windsor Heights, an Oversight Committee co-chairman. "It seems to me that everything works. We're talking about big dollars. I think based on what we heard that people should have high confidence in the integrity of the Iowa Lottery. I'm satisfied that they're conducting themselves the way they need to on behalf of the people of Iowa."

Courtney praised Lottery officials for the way they handled the intrigue but said lawmakers will "keep watching it 'til the game's over" and will expect lottery officials to fill in whatever blanks they can later once the criminal probe is completed — assuming that those details can be uncovered and provided to the citizens of Iowa.

"I think they have the right to know what happened," he said. "This is big money and every time there's big money you've always got to wonder but I think it's been handled properly."

Iowa Lottery officials had set a 3 p.m. Friday deadline for attorneys representing Hexham to provide them with basic information about who bought the winning ticket and some of the circumstances surrounding the year-long wait for the signed ticket to be turned in for validation so they could determine if was legally purchased, legally possessed and legally presented.

The Iowa Lottery received a letter from the Davis Brown law firm in Des Moines specifying that if the jackpot were to be paid to the trust, that all of the winnings would be donated to charity – minus attorney fees. However, lottery officials declined to pay the prize because of concerns about the legality of the purchase, possession and presentation of the ticket.

Iowa lottery officials say the state's $1.3 million share of the unclaimed jackpot will be rolled into a promotion in which about $1.9 million in unclaimed money will be given away to Iowa Lottery players. Details will be announced later this spring.

As part of Tuesday's presentation, Rich said the lottery is coming off a strong sales year that generated a record $68 million in proceeds to the state's general fund. He said projections call for sales totaling at least $277.6 million in the fiscal 2013 with proceeds to the state expected to top $60 million.

Iowa lottery officials say the state's $1.3 million share of the unclaimed jackpot will be rolled into a promotion in which about $1.9 million in unclaimed money will be given away to Iowa Lottery players. Details will be announced later this spring.

As part of Tuesday's presentation, Rich said the lottery is coming off a strong sales year that generated a record $68 million in proceeds to the state's general fund. He said projections call for sales totaling at least $277.6 million in the fiscal 2013 with proceeds to the state expected to top $60 million.

Eastern Iowa Government

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15 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by WesternRedDoug.
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United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 1, 2012, 8:03 am - IP Logged

Well I guess that just about wraps up this whole Iowa lottery/Steve Bolger/Crawford Shaw/Who dun it fiasco.

Let' wrap it up, and put a bow on it.   Smash

 

The criminal probe is still ongoing........wonder if we will ever find out who the mystery person was, that actually purchased the ticket?  What?

Got a gut feeling Shaw is going to be needing a large supply of KY jelly sometime soon.  Blush

I'd be willing to kick in $10 to keep his supply going.  Jester Laugh

 

I was happy to hear that Iowa's $1.3 million share will be given back to the lotto players this spring in the form of some promotion.

This sounds like good fodder for a criminal/mystery movie.  Idea

    Avatar
    Monkey Butt, USA
    United States
    Member #54569
    August 23, 2007
    1123 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 1, 2012, 9:33 am - IP Logged

    State lawmakers gave Iowa Lottery officials high marks Tuesday for the way they handled the mysterious circumstances surrounding a winning Hot Lotto jackpot that went unclaimed when attorneys representing a trust that turned in a valid ticket withdrew a claim for the multimillion-dollar prize last week.

    "That's the damndest thing I've every heard of," Sen. Tom Courtney, D-Burlington, said after lottery officials walked members of the Legislature's Oversight Committee through a 13-month saga that began when a Hot Lotto ticket valued at up to $16.5 million matched the grand-prize numbers drawn on Dec. 29, 2010, and was turned in a year later less than two hours before the jackpot was slated to expire bearing the name of a New York attorney who was acting on behalf of an investment trust based in Belize.

    Iowa Lottery chief Terry Rich said his agency met with attorney Crawford Shaw on one occasion, but he was unable to provide the information necessary to verify that the ticket was legally purchased, possessed and presented for validation. Eventually, the claim by Hexham Investment Trust was withdrawn but the events surrounding the unusual situation triggered a criminal probe by the state Division of Investigation and the Iowa Attorney General's Office, which is still ongoing and prevented Lottery officials from providing state legislators with all the answers they sought during Tuesday's hearing.

    "From our standpoint, this case is closed," said Rich, who told lawmakers his authority was as transparent and upfront with Iowans as they could be to protect the integrity of the lottery and he believed the system worked as it should even though the outcome left people hanging.

    "I feel very comfortable with the rules you have set up," the lottery chief told Oversight Committee members who peppered Rich and his legal, investigative and support staff with "what if" questions that led to an unknown claimant walking away from a potential $10.75 million cash payment after taxes or an annuity that could have provided a valid winner annual payments of $400,000 for 25 years.

    Lottery officials had set a 3 p.m. Friday deadline last week for attorneys representing Hexham to provide them with basic information about who bought the winning ticket and some of the circumstances surrounding the year-long wait for the signed ticket to be turned in for validation so they could determine if was legally purchased, legally possessed and legally presented.

    The Iowa Lottery received a letter from the Davis Brown law firm in Des Moines specifying that if the jackpot were to be paid to the trust, that all of the winnings would be donated to charity — minus attorney fees. However, lottery officials declined to pay the prize because required information was not provided.

    "Like a lot of Iowans, we want to know what went on here, but it seems to me that the system works and it's worked in this case so far, at least based on what we know," said Rep. Chris Hagenow, R-Windsor Heights, an Oversight Committee co-chairman. "It seems to me that everything works. We're talking about big dollars. I think based on what we heard that people should have high confidence in the integrity of the Iowa Lottery. I'm satisfied that they're conducting themselves the way they need to on behalf of the people of Iowa."

    Courtney praised Lottery officials for the way they handled the intrigue but said lawmakers will "keep watching it 'til the game's over" and will expect lottery officials to fill in whatever blanks they can later once the criminal probe is completed — assuming that those details can be uncovered and provided to the citizens of Iowa.

    "I think they have the right to know what happened," he said. "This is big money and every time there's big money you've always got to wonder but I think it's been handled properly."

    Iowa Lottery officials had set a 3 p.m. Friday deadline for attorneys representing Hexham to provide them with basic information about who bought the winning ticket and some of the circumstances surrounding the year-long wait for the signed ticket to be turned in for validation so they could determine if was legally purchased, legally possessed and legally presented.

    The Iowa Lottery received a letter from the Davis Brown law firm in Des Moines specifying that if the jackpot were to be paid to the trust, that all of the winnings would be donated to charity – minus attorney fees. However, lottery officials declined to pay the prize because of concerns about the legality of the purchase, possession and presentation of the ticket.

    Iowa lottery officials say the state's $1.3 million share of the unclaimed jackpot will be rolled into a promotion in which about $1.9 million in unclaimed money will be given away to Iowa Lottery players. Details will be announced later this spring.

    As part of Tuesday's presentation, Rich said the lottery is coming off a strong sales year that generated a record $68 million in proceeds to the state's general fund. He said projections call for sales totaling at least $277.6 million in the fiscal 2013 with proceeds to the state expected to top $60 million.

    Iowa lottery officials say the state's $1.3 million share of the unclaimed jackpot will be rolled into a promotion in which about $1.9 million in unclaimed money will be given away to Iowa Lottery players. Details will be announced later this spring.

    As part of Tuesday's presentation, Rich said the lottery is coming off a strong sales year that generated a record $68 million in proceeds to the state's general fund. He said projections call for sales totaling at least $277.6 million in the fiscal 2013 with proceeds to the state expected to top $60 million.

    verify that the ticket was legally purchased, possessed and presented for validation. (Paragraph 3)

    could determine if was legally purchased, legally possessed and legally presented. (Paragraph 6)

    could determine if was legally purchased, legally possessed and legally presented. (Paragaph 11)

     

    I thought the Lottery Commission pulled the video from the store and viewed the person who purchased the winning ticket?

    Did the Lottery Commission say anything about the ticket being purchased at gunpoint? or that the purchaser stole the ticket? NO!

    We all know the ticket was validated and authenticated. I suspect that the Lottery Commission was trying to play, "big brother wants to know all of your business and if we don't approve of you, we will not give you your money."

    about $1.9 million in unclaimed money will be given away to Iowa Lottery players.

    If the Iowa Lottery players have to pay to recieve any of the unclaimed money, then it is not being given.

    Definition of GIVEN

    1 : prone, disposed <given to swearing>
    2 : presented as a gift : bestowed without compensation
    3 a: particular, specified <at a given time>  
       b: assumed as actual or hypothetical : granted <given that all are equal before the law>
    4 of an official document: having been executed : dated
    5 : immediately present in experience

     

    The Iowa Lottery received a letter from the Davis Brown law firm in Des Moines specifying that if the jackpot were to be paid to the trust, that all of the winnings would be donated to charity — minus attorney fees. However, lottery officials declined to pay the prize because required information was not provided.

    Considering how this story was played in the media, was I the only person to miss reading this piece of information in all of the previous stories?  Was I also the only person to mis-read in the previous stories that the investment trust is based in Belize?

     

     The Iowa Lottery received a letter from the Davis Brown law firm in Des Moines specifying that if the jackpot were to be paid to the trust, that all of the winnings would be donated to charity – minus attorney fees. However, lottery officials declined to pay the prize because of concerns about the legality of the purchase, possession and presentation of the ticket.

    So now the stage is being set for the Lottery Commissions to attempt to probe into the winners background and decide if you are worthy or deserving of your lottery jackpot. The threads are being cleverly woven and by the time the general public realize what's what, it will be set in concrete.

    The Lottery Commission is cleverly working their way around to operating like the casinos you hear about that are not required to pay jackpot winners when they "suspect" them of cheating. I suspect that this decision is more political than the general public is being told. So don't be surprised if the media reports that the ticket was tied to organized crime or terrorism. Anything to justify not paying out on this validated ticket.

      Avatar
      Framingham,Ma
      United States
      Member #87371
      February 23, 2010
      24 Posts
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      Posted: February 1, 2012, 10:48 am - IP Logged

      Ok am I the only one here thinking if person had collected pot legal and all it would have been around 10 million dollars,thats what article said.So the State is saying going to somehow give back to players 1.9 million ok so where does the rest of the money go,its not like we are talking a few bucks here,big difference 10 million 1.9 million,  thinking someone getting a raise in pay or nice bonus at end of year.There should be full details of this and lets see who gets what and for what reasons are given but doubt that will ever happen.Investigations are only for us players not for the Lottery officals.plus like mentioned the lottery said giving back to players,will you have to pay to win some of this money,can't see why its already been paid for by the players.Truly honest way this should be handled is roll the entire pot over into the same game and let players have second chance at it,only fair, players put the money into it in first place, why not get what is rightfully theirs.Or give the State the 1.9 and roll the rest of 10 million over in the game.But we the players are not going to see either of these happen.This country is now being run on the lottery and poorly at that, to bad alot of good could come from the lottery but it never will.

        Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
        S.E.Iowa
        United States
        Member #120509
        December 21, 2011
        534 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 1, 2012, 11:15 am - IP Logged

        Ok am I the only one here thinking if person had collected pot legal and all it would have been around 10 million dollars,thats what article said.So the State is saying going to somehow give back to players 1.9 million ok so where does the rest of the money go,its not like we are talking a few bucks here,big difference 10 million 1.9 million,  thinking someone getting a raise in pay or nice bonus at end of year.There should be full details of this and lets see who gets what and for what reasons are given but doubt that will ever happen.Investigations are only for us players not for the Lottery officals.plus like mentioned the lottery said giving back to players,will you have to pay to win some of this money,can't see why its already been paid for by the players.Truly honest way this should be handled is roll the entire pot over into the same game and let players have second chance at it,only fair, players put the money into it in first place, why not get what is rightfully theirs.Or give the State the 1.9 and roll the rest of 10 million over in the game.But we the players are not going to see either of these happen.This country is now being run on the lottery and poorly at that, to bad alot of good could come from the lottery but it never will.

        The money is to be divided up among the participating lotterys that have Hot Lotto.Iowas share is 1.9 million dollars.I agree that the entire amount should be added to the current jackpot and the players should be allowed to have another crack at the jackpot.I even sent an email to that affect to the Iowa Lottery BEFORE Mr.Shaw tried to collect the jackpot.They never responded to my email.The Lottery is going to do what it wants with the money and the public be <snip>ed!

        This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

        When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

        There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

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          Orlando, FL
          United States
          Member #115789
          August 28, 2011
          259 Posts
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          Posted: February 1, 2012, 12:24 pm - IP Logged

          R I P  Hippy

            duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
            Jacksonville Florida
            United States
            Member #23018
            October 6, 2005
            646 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 1, 2012, 12:43 pm - IP Logged

            "The Iowa Lottery received a letter from the Davis Brown law firm in Des Moines specifying that if the jackpot were to be paid to the trust, that all of the winnings would be donated to charity - minus attorney fees."

            Amount of Jackpot: $16,500,000
            Attorney's Fees: $16,499,999
            Amount Donated to Charity: $1

              fwlawrence's avatar - Yavill
              Austin
              United States
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              December 6, 2004
              190 Posts
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              Posted: February 1, 2012, 12:49 pm - IP Logged

              Davis Brown law firm: "...all of the winnings would be donated to charity-minus attorney fees."

              Attorney fees-$10 million!


                United States
                Member #111446
                May 25, 2011
                6323 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 1, 2012, 1:16 pm - IP Logged

                Davis Brown law firm: "...all of the winnings would be donated to charity-minus attorney fees."

                Attorney fees-$10 million!

                Green laughI Agree!Green laughI Agree!Green laughI Agree!Green laughI Agree!Green laughI Agree!Green laugh

                  rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                  -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                  Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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                  Posted: February 1, 2012, 8:33 pm - IP Logged

                  I was thinking along the same lines, PERDUE.

                  They've got a precedent set now. You better write down what the weather is like when you buy a ticket in Iowa.

                  And the color of the cashier's eyes and hair.


                                                               
                                       
                                                           

                   

                   

                   

                   

                                                                                                                     

                  "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                              --Edmund Burke

                   

                   

                    garyo1954's avatar - garyo
                    Dallas, Texas
                    United States
                    Member #4549
                    May 2, 2004
                    845 Posts
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                    Posted: February 1, 2012, 8:57 pm - IP Logged

                    I was thinking along the same lines, PERDUE.

                    They've got a precedent set now. You better write down what the weather is like when you buy a ticket in Iowa.

                    And the color of the cashier's eyes and hair.

                    Good reason to get her phone number too!Big Smile

                      Avatar
                      New Member

                      United States
                      Member #113304
                      July 6, 2011
                      20 Posts
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                      Posted: February 1, 2012, 10:49 pm - IP Logged

                      Totally agree with "PERDUE" on this one. Ticket was presented, validated and view of camera of the ticket being purchased was also there for the Lottery Commission to see. And it's true, this is setting the stage for "Big Brother" to claim reason NOT to pay out on these types of payouts.... 

                       

                      It should have been paid out... Paying out the ticket WOULD HAVE PROTECTED the INTEGRITY OF THE GAME!!!

                      Great Post!

                       

                      I Agree!

                        Avatar
                        NY
                        United States
                        Member #23835
                        October 16, 2005
                        2809 Posts
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                        Posted: February 3, 2012, 1:30 am - IP Logged

                        verify that the ticket was legally purchased, possessed and presented for validation. (Paragraph 3)

                        could determine if was legally purchased, legally possessed and legally presented. (Paragraph 6)

                        could determine if was legally purchased, legally possessed and legally presented. (Paragaph 11)

                         

                        I thought the Lottery Commission pulled the video from the store and viewed the person who purchased the winning ticket?

                        Did the Lottery Commission say anything about the ticket being purchased at gunpoint? or that the purchaser stole the ticket? NO!

                        We all know the ticket was validated and authenticated. I suspect that the Lottery Commission was trying to play, "big brother wants to know all of your business and if we don't approve of you, we will not give you your money."

                        about $1.9 million in unclaimed money will be given away to Iowa Lottery players.

                        If the Iowa Lottery players have to pay to recieve any of the unclaimed money, then it is not being given.

                        Definition of GIVEN

                        1 : prone, disposed <given to swearing>
                        2 : presented as a gift : bestowed without compensation
                        3 a: particular, specified <at a given time>  
                           b: assumed as actual or hypothetical : granted <given that all are equal before the law>
                        4 of an official document: having been executed : dated
                        5 : immediately present in experience

                         

                        The Iowa Lottery received a letter from the Davis Brown law firm in Des Moines specifying that if the jackpot were to be paid to the trust, that all of the winnings would be donated to charity — minus attorney fees. However, lottery officials declined to pay the prize because required information was not provided.

                        Considering how this story was played in the media, was I the only person to miss reading this piece of information in all of the previous stories?  Was I also the only person to mis-read in the previous stories that the investment trust is based in Belize?

                         

                         The Iowa Lottery received a letter from the Davis Brown law firm in Des Moines specifying that if the jackpot were to be paid to the trust, that all of the winnings would be donated to charity – minus attorney fees. However, lottery officials declined to pay the prize because of concerns about the legality of the purchase, possession and presentation of the ticket.

                        So now the stage is being set for the Lottery Commissions to attempt to probe into the winners background and decide if you are worthy or deserving of your lottery jackpot. The threads are being cleverly woven and by the time the general public realize what's what, it will be set in concrete.

                        The Lottery Commission is cleverly working their way around to operating like the casinos you hear about that are not required to pay jackpot winners when they "suspect" them of cheating. I suspect that this decision is more political than the general public is being told. So don't be surprised if the media reports that the ticket was tied to organized crime or terrorism. Anything to justify not paying out on this validated ticket.

                        I know it's extremely complicated and hard to figure out, but what's shown in the video is irrelevant.

                        I realize it may have been too hard to tell from the many articles about it, but the people who contacted the lottery and tried to claim the prize said they aren't the purchaser or the owner(s).

                        It no doubt comes as a surprise to some, but the lottery has actual rules they have to follow. Maybe some people also don't know that the public doesn't need to follow the rules. The public can simply not play the game if they don't like the rules.  Alternatively, they can buy the ticket and then voluntarily forfeit the prize so that they don't have to follow the rules.

                        Whatever their reasons might have been, the person(s) who had possession of the ticket voluntarily decided they'd rather give up their claim than follow the rules. It's a free world, so why would anyone begrudge them their choice?

                          cbr$'s avatar - maren
                          Cordova,Al.
                          United States
                          Member #104485
                          January 15, 2011
                          164 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 4, 2012, 5:31 am - IP Logged

                          I don't get this at all. The ticket is valid . They are just cheated a person out  of it money . I'm questioning  the integrity of both the Lottery chief and Rep. Chris Hagenow.No No

                            Avatar
                            Left Coast
                            United States
                            Member #122303
                            January 28, 2012
                            98 Posts
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                            Posted: February 4, 2012, 6:21 pm - IP Logged

                            I don't get this at all. The ticket is valid . They are just cheated a person out  of it money . I'm questioning  the integrity of both the Lottery chief and Rep. Chris Hagenow.No No

                            I had always assumed that "bearer instrument" was a pretty black and white deal: you have a ticket, you sign it, you claim it. But if you think about an extreme case like an unsigned ticket being in a stolen car or stolen purse, then I wouldn't want the person to claim it. I don't think it is too unreasonable to ask the claimant how they came to possess the ticket.

                            I was jogging earlier this week and found a MM ticket and scooped it up and brought it home. Naturally, all this possession stuff was running through my head. I think I was actually feeling relief when I found out the ticket was too old to claim (and not a winner).