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Iowa officials trying to solve lotto mystery, may release surveillance video

Hot LottoHot Lotto: Iowa officials trying to solve lotto mystery, may release surveillance video
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Investigators in Iowa may release surveillance video of a person who purchased an unclaimed lottery ticket in hopes the public will see something that will help a criminal probe.

The investigation, which was launched after the Jan. 27 deadline to claim the $14 million Iowa Hot Lotto jackpot, includes a New York attorney who briefly tried to claim the prize but refused to answer officials' question about how he obtained the winning ticket.

"There is some point in time when you open it up [to the public] because you want attention," Patrick Townsend, a special agent with the Department of Criminal Investigations, told ABC affiliate KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Townsend said investigators are sorting through leads and that if they do not advance the case within the next few weeks, he expects the video, or an image from it, to be released.

"I don't recall the quality of [the video] being excessively great," he said. "But it's something to go with, something with hope."

The jackpot disappeared as the clock ticked past 4 p.m. ET on Jan. 27, reverting to the Iowa state treasury.

"We wanted to pay the prize, we were more than prepared to pay the prize," lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said. "But we didn't think it was a responsible thing to do."

Instead of a celebration, the state began an investigation.

"We opened a criminal investigation to learn more," said Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for the attorney general's office. "We have some questions about the circumstances of this ticket, and we're trying to determine who purchased it and how it was presented."

Officials had set the deadline hoping to award the prize to the sole claimant, Crawford Shaw, a New York-based attorney who signed the winning ticket. But Shaw refused to disclose how he got the ticket or who his client was.

Shaw said that the ticket and winnings belonged to the Hexham Family Trust, but misspelled the name on the ticket, writing "Hexam." Shaw said he could not disclose who his client was and only confirmed that the trust he represented was based in Belize.

Iowa Lottery officials drew the winning numbers for the jackpot in December 2010, but the prize went unclaimed for close to a year despite heavy advertising by the lottery for the winner to come forward. With two hours to go until the prize would be forfeited in December 2011, two Iowa attorneys presented the winning ticket, signed by Shaw, at the lottery headquarters.

They did not provide any explanation of how Shaw obtained the ticket.

"These are not tough questions that we've been asking, just very basic factual information that we get from any prize winner. It is simply us doing our duty to make sure nothing was amiss," Neubauer said in January.

Shaw withdrew his claim shortly before the window for the prize to be claimed expired.

"I still don't know why it was so difficult for the information to be provided, but if that's the case, that's how it will end," Neubauer said.

ABC News

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24 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by mcginnin56.
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rdgrnr's avatar - walt
-Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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Posted: August 19, 2012, 10:22 pm - IP Logged

I think everybody would like to know who bought that ticket and why they didn't claim the prize.

And if there was a crime committed in the whole process.

It's entirely possible that a person could lose their life over that amount of money.

It should be thoroughly investigated in my opinion.

    zinniagirl's avatar - flower avatar_0026.jpg
    nc
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    Posted: August 20, 2012, 12:55 am - IP Logged

    Why are they investigating it when they got to keep the money?

      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
      -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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      Posted: August 20, 2012, 12:57 am - IP Logged

      Why are they investigating it when they got to keep the money?

      To make sure somebody didn't get ripped off or killed playing their game would be my guess.

        Avatar
        NY
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        Posted: August 20, 2012, 2:52 am - IP Logged

        Why are they investigating it when they got to keep the money?

        I'm wondering that, too. It's not as if somebody admitting they're not the original purchaser of the ticket and then walking away from $14 million is any reason for suspicion.

          HaveABall's avatar - rocket

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          Posted: August 20, 2012, 4:43 am - IP Logged

          The article reads:  "I don't recall the quality of [the video] being excessively great," he said. "But it's something to go with, something with hope."

          I wonder how many other lottery retailers also, knowingly, have "poor quality" video cameras and/or film?  No No

          Having millions of dollars in my financial accounts means more, consistent fun for me.Lovies

            Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
            S.E.Iowa
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            Posted: August 20, 2012, 8:16 am - IP Logged

            I've always been under the impression that lottery tickets are bearer instruments.Whoevers name is on the ticket is the owner of the ticket...period! The state of Iowa should have paid Shaw and that should have been the end of the story.

            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

              whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
              Nutley, New Jersey
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              Posted: August 20, 2012, 10:41 am - IP Logged

              I've always been under the impression that lottery tickets are bearer instruments.Whoevers name is on the ticket is the owner of the ticket...period! The state of Iowa should have paid Shaw and that should have been the end of the story.

              Lottery officials need to take into account how the ticket was aquired not just who's name is on the back of the ticket. If the ticket was abtained fraudulently, then no money should be awarded and the person making the fraudulent claim should go to prison.

              If lottery officials didn't take into account how the ticket was aquired, then it would be open season for any convenience store clerk to scam a customer out of their winning ticket.

                Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                Clarksville
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                Posted: August 20, 2012, 10:47 am - IP Logged

                I've always been under the impression that lottery tickets are bearer instruments.Whoevers name is on the ticket is the owner of the ticket...period! The state of Iowa should have paid Shaw and that should have been the end of the story.

                In this day and age with people being murdered over lottery winnings, they should investigate.  In fact, I think they would be irresponsible if they didn't.  The main sticking point is they turned down the 14 million.  Who in the world turns their back on 14 million unless they have something more precious to lose such as their freedom.

                If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                You never know when you will get another hit.


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                  Posted: August 20, 2012, 11:25 am - IP Logged

                  In this day and age with people being murdered over lottery winnings, they should investigate.  In fact, I think they would be irresponsible if they didn't.  The main sticking point is they turned down the 14 million.  Who in the world turns their back on 14 million unless they have something more precious to lose such as their freedom.

                  Excellent point LOL.

                  Unless they re-considered, and decided that $14 million was just far to much money to become responsible for.   Eek

                    The-One's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcRMqX8QWSV7QJJhDbrG0I-D3eFcqFAzXzCj-A_r-IsB3aQITDh3HQ
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                    Posted: August 20, 2012, 12:20 pm - IP Logged

                    It was me I turned it down.   I had a job back then,  now that I lost my job and unenjoyment ran out its time to claim the ticket!!!

                    Fortune cookie 101 

                    If you must choose,  then choose wisely!

                    According to the Obama admistration you have better odds to hit the next number then the odds of a new job being created.  Good Luck!!! :p

                    Aside from the Dos Equis beer guy being the most interesting man in the world.  There is no more interesting people in the world than gamblers.  I'm right at home.  :)


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                      Posted: August 20, 2012, 1:24 pm - IP Logged

                      It was me I turned it down.   I had a job back then,  now that I lost my job and unenjoyment ran out its time to claim the ticket!!!

                      I thought you were The-One, now I'm sure of it.

                        savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                        adelaide sa
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                        Posted: August 20, 2012, 1:45 pm - IP Logged

                        and what sort of lawyer forms a trust and then mis spells its name on the <snip>ed ticket!

                        Yeah that bearer instument is a load of malarky, they match video footage of EVERY claimant with footage take at the time of purchase. and prob check the tickets for dna and fingerprints. im glad there is an investigation. someone bought it, and are either in dead or in a lunatic assylum/ jail rotting.  im guessing dead.

                        not spilling his guts , is prob only thing lawyer has done right.

                         

                         

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

                        2014 winnings

                        JAN -$48.50;  FEB  -$77.5; MAR -$18.05;  APR -$96.05 MAY -$61.10; JUN $-85; JUL $-88.9;AUG -$144.10

                        yearly grand totalspent = 938.05won= 318.8-$619.25


                          Artist77's avatar - batman14

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                          Posted: August 20, 2012, 6:20 pm - IP Logged

                          Excellent point LOL.

                          Unless they re-considered, and decided that $14 million was just far to much money to become responsible for.   Eek

                          Aren't there only two possibilities:  fraud and possible theft and even murder    OR

                                                                             The winner was on the FBI wanted list/previously faked his/her death, etc.


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                            Posted: August 20, 2012, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

                            Aren't there only two possibilities:  fraud and possible theft and even murder    OR

                                                                               The winner was on the FBI wanted list/previously faked his/her death, etc.

                            A third possibility could be a sister from a nunnery, that declined to accept the winnings due to her vow of poverty.  Blue Angel