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1 year later, Iowa Lottery still hunting for suspicious no-show winner

Hot LottoHot Lotto: 1 year later, Iowa Lottery still hunting for suspicious no-show winner
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Iowa investigators are trying to track down the winner of a $14.3 million Hot Lotto jackpot ticket after the person refused to be identified and was disqualified as a result.

Patrick Townsend, special-agent-in-charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said investigators remain unable to identify the person who bought the Hot Lotto ticket in December 2010 at a Des Moines gas station.

A New York lawyer claiming to represent the winning trust waited until minutes before the one-year deadline to claim the prize on December 29, 2011, then withdrew the claim weeks later rather than explain how he wound up with the ticket.

"I wish I could tell you it was solved. It is intriguing and has a lot of twists and turns," Townsend said in a phone interview Monday.

"This is not a normal or typical case. It has some different aspects to it. We've definitely taken the time to look at a lot of those things and see where the leads take us."

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich has said the case appears to be the only time in lottery history when someone has stepped forward with a winning ticket before walking away from the jackpot.

Iowa DCI launched an investigation a year ago into whether a crime was committed in the purchase or possession of the ticket.

Townsend said that agents under his supervision are still actively working the case.

Most recently, he said they have issued subpoenas for phone and email records as they "try to connect the dots to a couple more leads."

"We're trying to link communication to some specific people who we think might be part of this," he said.

"If we knew who bought the ticket, then we'd be a lot further down the road."

Townsend said investigators have surveillance footage from the gas station showing the purchase but want to "exhaust all leads" before releasing it to ask for the public's help.

He said divulging the video could invite false claims and expose some key details, such as how the person was dressed and paid for the ticket.

Crawford Shaw, the 77-year-old lawyer from Bedford, New York who has been the public face of the mystery, again declined Tuesday to say how he obtained the ticket.

Mr Shaw signed the ticket on behalf of Hexham Investments Trust, claiming he was its sole trustee.

He shipped the ticket by FedEx one day before the deadline to a Des Moines law firm, which he retained to represent him. Its attorneys stunned Lottery officials by showing up to claim the ticket with less than two hours to spare.

Lottery officials said they would not pay the jackpot until they were satisfied the ticket was legally claimed. They wanted the names of everyone who had possessed the ticket before Shaw.

Shaw claimed he was representing an attorney for a person who purchased the ticket and wished to remain anonymous and that he didn't know the winner's identity.

He told Lottery officials the trust's proceeds would go to a corporation in Belize, a country known as a tax haven.

Lottery officials rejected an offer by Shaw to give the jackpot to charity before he withdrew the claim to avoid "further controversy."

Officials have said the layers of secrecy could be a way for someone who stole the ticket or was prohibited from playing to claim a prize.

Iowa law prohibits employees and contractors of the lottery, their relatives and anyone under 21 from playing, although officials have said the buyer appears to be of legal age.

Townsend said investigators have been in contact with law enforcement in at least one foreign country during the investigation, declining to elaborate. But Shaw claimed Tuesday they have not been in touch with him.

"I don't think there's anything more to tell," Shaw said. "As far as I'm concerned, the thing is completed."

He then hung up.

The payout for the prize would have been $7.5million in cash, or $10.3million over 25 years, after taxes.

The mystery produced one positive side effect. Iowa Lottery officials had a "Mystery Millionaire" promotion with its share of the unclaimed jackpot, giving away a $1million prize at the state fair in August.

A recently-retired Des Moines police officer won the prize, saying he would use it to help his family during retirement.

Thanks to lottoballz for the tip.

AP, Lottery Post Staff

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30 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by jamella724.
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Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
S.E.Iowa
United States
Member #120509
December 21, 2011
534 Posts
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Posted: January 30, 2013, 12:14 pm - IP Logged

It would be a hoot if the "winner" turns out to be an employee of the Iowa lottery that isn't supposed to be playing the lottery in the first place.

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

    dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
    Oklahoma
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    Member #82391
    November 12, 2009
    4890 Posts
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    Posted: January 30, 2013, 3:40 pm - IP Logged

    Dang I bought a ticket for that draw & didn't get one #......Thud

    Win BIG everyone....White Bounce

    I Love Pink & Green 1908

      haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
      egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
      United States
      Member #112972
      June 29, 2011
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      Posted: January 30, 2013, 4:13 pm - IP Logged

      It would be a hoot if the "winner" turns out to be an employee of the Iowa lottery that isn't supposed to be playing the lottery in the first place.

      I Agree!   But it' not fair that relatives of employees can't play.

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

        JonnyBgood07's avatar - Patriots logo1.jpg
        Connecticut
        United States
        Member #61623
        May 29, 2008
        18829 Posts
        Online
        Posted: January 30, 2013, 4:17 pm - IP Logged

        this line hints at it possibly..chances are an illegal immigrant family /or group won ...at least that's my guess anyhow

        Townsend said investigators have been in contact with law enforcement in at least one foreign country during the investigation, declining to elaborate

        "...Life is not a matter of holding good cards,but sometimes playing a poor hand well...
        'Fortune Cookie wisdom'

         


          HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
          Boise, ID
          United States
          Member #94285
          July 17, 2010
          1410 Posts
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          Posted: January 30, 2013, 4:50 pm - IP Logged

          this line hints at it possibly..chances are an illegal immigrant family /or group won ...at least that's my guess anyhow

          Townsend said investigators have been in contact with law enforcement in at least one foreign country during the investigation, declining to elaborate

          I don't believe there's any law against illegal immigrants winning the lottery, is there?

          Now maybe they were trying to not bring attention to themselves so as not to get deported.  But if you have 7 mil USD, you can live pretty well in any other country you'd want to to go.

            JonnyBgood07's avatar - Patriots logo1.jpg
            Connecticut
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            May 29, 2008
            18829 Posts
            Online
            Posted: January 30, 2013, 6:12 pm - IP Logged

            I don't believe there's any law against illegal immigrants winning the lottery, is there?

            Now maybe they were trying to not bring attention to themselves so as not to get deported.  But if you have 7 mil USD, you can live pretty well in any other country you'd want to to go.

            Now maybe they were trying to not bring attention to themselves so as not to get deported.."

             

            that's where I was gettin' at .

             

            as for whether illegals should be able to play lottery that discussion is up for grabs and I see it like this.

            If I'm not allowed to play online(using a foreign country to wage bets) therefore a foreigner who isn't a legal citizen shouldn't be able to play or gamble  here.

             

            ...but that's just me  lol

            "...Life is not a matter of holding good cards,but sometimes playing a poor hand well...
            'Fortune Cookie wisdom'

             


              HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
              Boise, ID
              United States
              Member #94285
              July 17, 2010
              1410 Posts
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              Posted: January 30, 2013, 6:39 pm - IP Logged

              Now maybe they were trying to not bring attention to themselves so as not to get deported.."

               

              that's where I was gettin' at .

               

              as for whether illegals should be able to play lottery that discussion is up for grabs and I see it like this.

              If I'm not allowed to play online(using a foreign country to wage bets) therefore a foreigner who isn't a legal citizen shouldn't be able to play or gamble  here.

               

              ...but that's just me  lol

              I can't imagine a single circumstance where I wouldn't be happy to be deported with 7 mil jingling in my pocket.

              I disagree.  I think illegals should be allowed to play.  They just shouldn't be allowed to win.  Red Devil

                Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                Zeta Reticuli Star System
                United States
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                January 17, 2006
                8764 Posts
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                Posted: January 30, 2013, 6:52 pm - IP Logged

                Maybe it's LotteryWorker2 "staying under the radar".

                (Discussions thread)

                Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                Lep

                There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                  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: January 30, 2013, 9:26 pm - IP Logged

                  I just hope the guy who bought the ticket isn't under a concrete slab in somebody's driveway.

                    noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                    Bay Area/ California
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                    December 12, 2012
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                    Posted: January 30, 2013, 9:35 pm - IP Logged

                    .. And illegal as well. Would'nt that be a blast.

                    From what l have read- non US citizens get taxed at 30%. There is still some decent change left over but many do not want their names or faces in the public eye. l totally agree.

                    * On a side note: There was a $52 mil Mega winner from the city l live in and the State lottery officials plastered his mug on TV after just 40 days in a state where you can claim your prize up to a YEAR. They outed the winner and as it turns out people were knocking on this guy's apartment at all hours of the day and night asking for money. Its downright pathetic what some of these lottery officials do. Why in the hell cant you simply pay you taxes from the win and remain anonymous? It should be a right, one opens themselves up to all kinds of shady characters and people trying to remove you from your winnings once the press gets involved.

                     

                    ** You Will Never Win- If You Never Begin.

                      Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                      S.E.Iowa
                      United States
                      Member #120509
                      December 21, 2011
                      534 Posts
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                      Posted: January 30, 2013, 9:40 pm - IP Logged

                      I just hope the guy who bought the ticket isn't under a concrete slab in somebody's driveway.

                      I Agree!

                      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

                        maringoman's avatar - kobold
                        Massachusetts
                        United States
                        Member #37433
                        April 14, 2006
                        1787 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: January 30, 2013, 10:02 pm - IP Logged

                        This story broke my heart. Imagine waiting all these years for that elusive JP then when you finally hit it you either get swindled off of it or murdered because of it.  Life sucks and then you die is a bumper sticker that applies to such stories

                          sully16's avatar - sharan
                          Listens to the wind

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                          Posted: January 30, 2013, 11:22 pm - IP Logged

                          It would be a hoot if the "winner" turns out to be an employee of the Iowa lottery that isn't supposed to be playing the lottery in the first place.

                          hehehehehehe, good one.

                          There's only one US Flag

                            sully16's avatar - sharan
                            Listens to the wind

                            United States
                            Member #81740
                            October 28, 2009
                            17833 Posts
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                            Posted: January 30, 2013, 11:26 pm - IP Logged

                            Maybe it's LotteryWorker2 "staying under the radar".

                            (Discussions thread)

                            LOL, Couldn't hardly get through his first papagraph.

                            There's only one US Flag