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Iowa Lottery director: 50-50 that Hot Lotto mystery will be solved

Hot LottoHot Lotto: Iowa Lottery director: 50-50 that Hot Lotto mystery will be solved
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Terry Rich would love to know the story behind the winner of a lottery jackpot walking away from a ticket valued at $7.5 million after taxes.

"It's the only time we can find anywhere in world lottery history that somebody won a major jackpot and gave it up," Rich said Aug. 8.

Although there have been cases of people not claiming a jackpot because they lost their winning ticket, "No one has ever claimed it, had the hoopla, and then said, 'OK, we don't want it. Bye,'" Rich said.

However, Rich, the director of the Iowa Lottery, and a Department of Criminal Investigation agent involved in the case say the odds of solving the mystery may be no better than 50-50.

The mystery, which has led to discussions of a movie, began with a Hot Lotto ticket with an after-tax value of $7.5 million that matched the grand-prize numbers drawn on Dec. 29, 2010. It wasn't turned in until 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 a Belize-based investment trust.

The attorney ultimately withdrew his claim after Lottery officials said they would not pay the money unless he answered their questions.

After "hitting the investigation hot and heavy," DCI Special Agent-in-Charge Patrick Townsend, said the case is at something of a standstill as they await the results of subpoenas issued for telephone and email records of "people of interest."

The investigation, he added, has not pointed toward any involvement by Iowa Lottery employees.

"There was nothing to lead us in that direction," Townsend said.

Whether they strike pay dirt with the subpoenas or people come forward with new information, Townsend doubts investigators will lose interest in the case.

"It's been one of the more interesting cases," he said. "There have been a lot of turns, a lot of 'Wow, that's interesting' moments."

Whether the case is solved, Rich believes the Lottery has handled it properly and is confident the integrity and security of the Lottery has been preserved.

"The bottom line is we kept the money," he said.

It will give away $1 million of it at the Iowa State Fair, which starts Aug. 9.

The case has spawned numerous theories. Although cautious not to say anything that would interfere with the investigation, Rich dismissed the idea the ticketholder was underage.

"I don't believe that's the case based on what I know," he said.

Another theory is the winning ticket was taken from the purchaser after he bragged about his jackpot.

"They usually have loose lips," Rich said. "Maybe they showed it to someone (who) took the ticket and said, 'Good-bye,' and disposed of that person."

Still another theory centers around a ticket purchased illegally through an international syndicate with the parties walking away from the jackpot rather than answer the Lottery's questions.

There still are a couple of people who claim the winning ticket was stolen from them. That's not Rich's problem.

"Under the law, as I understand it, they have to sue the guy in New York because he was the one who claimed it," he said.

Regardless where the subpoenas lead, Rich said the story may take on a life of its own.

His office has fielded inquiries from people interested in making a movie about the Hot Lotto ticket mystery. There's nothing definite and Rich hasn't given a lot of thought to which actor should play him.

"The ones that come to mind are Ed Asner or Robert Redford, but they're old," he joked. "But I guess I am too."

Lee-Gazette

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19 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Scientistman.
Page 1 of 2

United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
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Posted: August 9, 2012, 7:05 am - IP Logged

Terry Rich should be played by Mawell Smart.

 

Another theory could be that someone from within the Iowa lottery commission was covering up for someone else. Had the pointed questions not

been asked, someone would have claimed this jackpot for sure.

 

    THRIFTY's avatar - 8
    NEW YORK
    United States
    Member #90537
    April 29, 2010
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    Posted: August 9, 2012, 7:34 am - IP Logged

    "They usually have loose lips," Rich said. "Maybe they showed it to someone (who) took the ticket and said, 'Good-bye,' and disposed of that person."

    Still another theory centers around a ticket purchased illegally through an international syndicate with the parties walking away from the jackpot rather than answer the Lottery's questions."

    These two seems more realistic to me. How about the person being a wealthy new Yorker who is evading taxes? I feel that they will find out eventually.


      United States
      Member #111446
      May 25, 2011
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      Posted: August 9, 2012, 7:37 am - IP Logged

      "They usually have loose lips," Rich said. "Maybe they showed it to someone (who) took the ticket and said, 'Good-bye,' and disposed of that person."

      Still another theory centers around a ticket purchased illegally through an international syndicate with the parties walking away from the jackpot rather than answer the Lottery's questions."

      These two seems more realistic to me. How about the person being a wealthy new Yorker who is evading taxes? I feel that they will find out eventually.

      This must somehow tie in with your tax re-distrubtion theories.  LOL

        Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
        S.E.Iowa
        United States
        Member #120509
        December 21, 2011
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        Posted: August 9, 2012, 8:40 am - IP Logged

        "The bottom line is we kept the money," he said.

         

         

        That just about says it alll!

        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

          rdgrnr's avatar - walt
          -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
          Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
          United States
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          April 28, 2009
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          Posted: August 9, 2012, 11:26 am - IP Logged

          More likely won by someone who has won before with a system, a scheme or a scam that they don't want to put at risk until they hit the real mother lode with it.

          They could afford to let this one go because they know they can do it again for the really big score after they get all their ducks in a row.

          They may have done it already.


                                                       
                               
                                                   

           

           

           

           

                                                                                                             

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

                                                                                                      --Edmund Burke

           

           

            haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
            egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
            United States
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            Posted: August 9, 2012, 11:39 am - IP Logged

            More likely won by someone who has won before with a system, a scheme or a scam that they don't want to put at risk until they hit the real mother lode with it.

            They could afford to let this one go because they know they can do it again for the really big score after they get all their ducks in a row.

            They may have done it already.

            That makes more sense then any other theory I've heard.

            Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

              JoeBigLotto's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
              melbourne , florida
              United States
              Member #121145
              January 3, 2012
              126 Posts
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              Posted: August 9, 2012, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

              l don't think this has anything to do with a lotto system what so ever am very good in profiling people and numbers.This is my only logical theory an old lady or man came into a store to check there ticket the cashier sees its a winner and decides to pay the real winner $5 .Now he has another problem how to cash it and he talks to a trusted relative in new york who decides to help cash it for a fee .so they get some money hungry lawyers to help cover there trail of deceptions .So they wait till last minute so the lottery won't have time to do a full investigation or thinking the real winner would have forgotten about it.The lottery officials refuse to pay because they want more answers and they can't give thoes answers because they will be bursted in there lies and go to jail. Now instead of going to jail they decide well lets abandon ship and swim for our life jail free.So they are trying to escape a jail sentence for fraud so this is my only logical explanation they decided not to continue the claim process.And worst case scenerio the real owner could have been kidnapped too .people don't think properly when they are excited of stealing a winning lottery ticket never have time to think of the claiming process properly.

                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                mid-Ohio
                United States
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                17444 Posts
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                Posted: August 9, 2012, 1:56 pm - IP Logged

                It clear if there was some kind of lottery scheme going on it was a no brainer to walk away from $7.5M rather than discuss it which contribute to the theory it's big and the people running it got smarter.

                If it ever came to light that anyone with a million or two dollars to gamble had a pretty good chance of winning any lottery, it would change the structures of MM and PB lottery schemes.

                * Thoses who can, do * 
                * thoses who can't, just talk *
                Roll Eyes 

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                  Kentucky
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                  Member #32652
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                  Posted: August 9, 2012, 4:04 pm - IP Logged

                  "bearing the name of a New York attorney who was acting on behalf of a Belize-based investment trust."

                  It's really not that uncommon for someone to sell their winning ticket and a Belize-based investment was the final owner, but the strange part is why buy a ticket you might not be able to cash. Now since they withdrew their claim, there is no reason for the lottery to investigate. It really doesn't matter if Iowa Lottery security chief believes there was foul play because he doesn't represent the law and certainly not in Belize.

                  I'm guessing the real winner was an illegal and the trust was formed in Belize believing they could cash the ticket anonymously.

                    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                    mid-Ohio
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                    Posted: August 9, 2012, 4:34 pm - IP Logged

                    "bearing the name of a New York attorney who was acting on behalf of a Belize-based investment trust."

                    It's really not that uncommon for someone to sell their winning ticket and a Belize-based investment was the final owner, but the strange part is why buy a ticket you might not be able to cash. Now since they withdrew their claim, there is no reason for the lottery to investigate. It really doesn't matter if Iowa Lottery security chief believes there was foul play because he doesn't represent the law and certainly not in Belize.

                    I'm guessing the real winner was an illegal and the trust was formed in Belize believing they could cash the ticket anonymously.

                    Such a situation could be win win for a drug cartel looking to laundry some money and an illegal looking to avoid a hassle.

                    * Thoses who can, do * 
                    * thoses who can't, just talk *
                    Roll Eyes 

                      Avatar
                      wisconsin
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                      July 23, 2012
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                      Posted: August 10, 2012, 11:38 pm - IP Logged

                        grwurston's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                        Goal. $1,500 a week.
                        bel air maryland
                        United States
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                        April 24, 2010
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                        Posted: August 11, 2012, 9:23 pm - IP Logged

                         The ticket may have been purchased by someone who doesn't want to be found for whatever reason. Someone in witness protection for example. By waiting till the last minute to cash the ticket, they probably thought there would no hoop-la or publicity. As it turned out the waiting drew a lot of attention, so they said "The heck with it. It's not worth the risk of being found".

                        "You can observe a lot just by watching."  Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

                        To win the lottery, watch the #'s.

                        Observations can put the odds in your favor.

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                          New Member
                          Texas
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                          Posted: August 16, 2012, 4:34 pm - IP Logged

                           I am in FAVOR of abolishing the Lottery and all those of participating states. I will be forth coming soon with my findings from an ongoing studying of the lottery drawings. Also do you guys find it ironic that their are only 1000 combinations for the pick three but yet triple digits and quadruple numbers are rarely drawn. Don't you think if you have two games per day for seven days a week, fourteen drawings a week, for three hundred and sixty five days a year you would at least see those type of patterns. In addition, don't you also find it a little "ponzi" that never in the history of the <snip> where drawings like 2-4-6-8-10-...Whole and even even or chronological numbers like 1-2-3-4-5-6 has never been drawn? Also, how is it possible that you can get the same pattern of numbers for the pick three/four, but yet cannot never get the same pattern of numbers for PowerBall, Mega or State games? Make you wonder right? Furthermore, if each states are using "SmartPlay" machines don't you think a uncontrolled machine has the possibility of popping the same pattern of numbers for a month straight considering its just "random" right? I guess this "SmartPlay" machines isn't so SMART! Actually they so smart they no NOT to draw quadruple, chronological and triple digits numbers.

                          If the lottery isn't rigged why do THEY need to do "pretest drawings?" My thing is this if they wanna pretest the balls to make sure the machine is properly functioning just USE blank BALLS!

                           

                          The LOTTERY is FULL of %*%*

                            haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                            egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
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                            June 29, 2011
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                            Posted: August 16, 2012, 4:42 pm - IP Logged

                            The lotteries are not going anywhere, but you can abolish them personally,

                            just quit playing.

                            Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.