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Deadline for claiming $16.5M Hot Lotto jackpot nears

Hot LottoHot Lotto: Deadline for claiming $16.5M Hot Lotto jackpot nears
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Winner has 3 months left to claim prize

The Iowa Lottery has a message for folks who drove through Des Moines just before New Year's Day almost nine months ago:

Dig deep into your dresser drawer and the car's glove compartment. Empty out your purse and shake out your wallet. Check your pants pockets and your backpack.

Time is running out for a mystery lottery player to claim a $16.5 million Hot Lotto jackpot. The deadline is 4 p.m. on Dec. 29 for the winner to present the ticket at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines.

At 4:01 p.m. that day, the ticket will be worthless if it hasn't been validated by state lottery officials.

Lottery officials have a hunch a holiday traveler was the person who purchased the winning ticket at a QuikTrip convenience store at 4801 N.E. 14th St. in Des Moines. The drawing was held Dec. 29, 2010. But no one has stepped forward with the lucky slip of paper that would make him an instant millionaire.

"We want to find the winner," said Terry Rich, the Iowa Lottery's chief executive officer.

If no one shows up with the ticket within the next three months, the money will be forfeited, and the jackpot will become the largest unclaimed prize to date in the state-run lottery's 26-year history.

Rich plans to place a countdown clock on the Iowa Lottery's website this month to draw attention to the fact that time is getting short for someone to pick up the winnings. Hot Lotto tickets are valid for 365 days after the drawing.

"We are encouraging everybody to check their tickets," Rich said. "They still have a few months to claim it, but we know from our security devices that they have not even checked their ticket to see if it is a winner. So they may have discarded it, put it in a drawer or whatever."

The QuikTrip store where the ticket was sold is a key refueling stop on Interstate Highway 35/80, a major connecting route for Midwest travelers headed in all directions. Lottery officials suspect the ticket was purchased by someone who might have been headed to another state and isn't aware the ticket is worth a fortune.

"What a crying shame," said Mike Thornbrugh, public relations manager for QuikTrip Corp., based in Tulsa, Okla. "Trust me, we don't have a clue" who purchased the winning ticket, he added. "If we knew, we would find them and tell them to redeem it. I wish we knew, but we don't."

Nearly a dozen people have already contacted the Iowa Lottery to inquire about the jackpot. Some have tried to claim the money without having the ticket, while others thought they might have lost the ticket and wanted to put their minds at ease, said Mary Neubauer, an Iowa Lottery vice president.

A couple of people have unsuccessfully tried to convince Iowa Lottery officials that they had ruined their jackpot ticket by putting it in a washing machine. Another contended he had bought the winning ticket, but it was stolen. One man sent an email to lottery officials, saying he thought his father had bought the lucky ticket and then misplaced it. Other people repeatedly changed their stories, trying to offer a version that would convince lottery officials they should be awarded the $16.5 million, Neubauer said.

None of the details provided so far by would-be lottery winners match the facts about the jackpot ticket, Rich said. He explained that lottery officials know the exact time and date of the purchase and have observed in-store video surveillance that shows the person who bought the ticket and what happened when the transaction occurred. He declined to provide specifics for security reasons.

The largest previous unclaimed prize was won in the Iowa Lotto game on March 21, 1987. Two tickets split the $1.22 million jackpot in the game that night, but only one of the tickets was ever validated. The other ticket, which would have won half the jackpot, expired, Neubauer said.

One of the most famous cases nationally of an unclaimed lottery jackpot occurred in 1996 when Clarence Jackson of Hamden, Conn., turned in his $5.8 million ticket three days late. He didn't receive a penny. Connecticut Lottery officials were sympathetic but wouldn't budge on the rules.

The winning numbers for the multistate Hot Lotto ticket sold in Iowa were 3-12-16-26-33, with a Hot Ball of 11. The jackpot can be claimed in annual, annuitized payments totaling $16.5 million over 25 years or as a one-time, lump-sum payment of nearly $10.8 million.

Most Iowa Lottery jackpots are claimed within a few days of a drawing, although lottery officials advise big winners to first consult with a lawyer and a financial planner.

In this case, though, lottery officials are fairly certain the ticket holder doesn't realize he is entitled to sudden wealth.

"We will investigate anyone who wants to check with us, but having the ticket is the proof that you get the money," Rich said. "The general rule is no ticket, no payment."

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18 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by Slick Nick.
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rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
Member #73904
April 28, 2009
14903 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 21, 2011, 7:39 pm - IP Logged

Seems to me, if they really wanted to find the winner, they would put his picture out there.

Chances are, somebody would recognize him.

I'd bet it's a long-haul trucker.


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

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

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 

    Grovel's avatar - f800e6a39fbfea795d1dcbb09f2244
    Little Rock, AR
    United States
    Member #68365
    December 19, 2008
    241 Posts
    Online
    Posted: September 21, 2011, 8:05 pm - IP Logged

    It's his fault for not checking his ticket. If their is a huge winner in my area, i always check my ticket four or five times just to be sure.

      Avatar
      Keokuk,Iowa
      United States
      Member #116504
      September 12, 2011
      305 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 21, 2011, 9:08 pm - IP Logged

      None of the details provided so far by would-be lottery winners match the facts about the jackpot ticket, Rich said. He explained that lottery officials know the exact time and date of the purchase and have observed in-store video surveillance that shows the person who bought the ticket and what happened when the transaction occurred. He declined to provide specifics for security reasons.

       

       

      This tells me that the Lottery knows what the winner looks like.I agree with ridgerunner that they might try putting his picture out there and see if that jogs his/her memory.But that would be to simple and might cause the winner to come forward and claim the millions and force the state of Iowa to pay instead of keeping it.

        Avatar
        Tampa, Florida
        United States
        Member #116732
        September 18, 2011
        30 Posts
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        Posted: September 21, 2011, 10:00 pm - IP Logged

        I hope the ticket holder come forth in time.

        It started from a dream....

          sully16's avatar - sharan
          Ringleader
          Michigan
          United States
          Member #81740
          October 28, 2009
          40513 Posts
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          Posted: September 21, 2011, 10:02 pm - IP Logged

          I hope the winner comes forward.

          Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

          For a lead role in a cage?

           

                                                      From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

            dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
            Oklahoma
            United States
            Member #82391
            November 12, 2009
            6290 Posts
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            Posted: September 22, 2011, 8:20 am - IP Logged

            I hope the ticket holder come forth in time.

            I Agree!

              dpoly1's avatar - driver
              PA
              United States
              Member #66141
              October 16, 2008
              1672 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 22, 2011, 9:24 am - IP Logged

              I hope that the winner gets their money!

              No worry about that happening to me! I need the money too much to not check my ticket!

              Patriot Pennsylvania (Scottdale) needs the first big jackpot winner in Mega Millions on Friday ! I will triple check my ticket!

                cbr$'s avatar - maren
                Cordova,Al.
                United States
                Member #104482
                January 15, 2011
                4919 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: September 22, 2011, 1:09 pm - IP Logged

                Yes NodI hope this winner claim the money and not the state. I don' t want to see this person face after the deadline unless they have claim the money. If they couldn't show it now so somebody could alert them they win . This has to be a traveler  ticket could be thrown up in their glove conpartment/ until you decide to clean it out.

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #111186
                  May 20, 2011
                  344 Posts
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                  Posted: September 22, 2011, 5:41 pm - IP Logged

                  HURRRRRY DanceThe BIG Score has arrived!!

                  Best Wishes - Hope the winner makes it in time.. Yes Nod

                    ressuccess's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #93164
                    June 23, 2010
                    1322 Posts
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                    Posted: September 23, 2011, 2:44 pm - IP Logged

                    I hope the winner steps forward.

                      Avatar
                      NH
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                      December 5, 2009
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                      Posted: September 23, 2011, 4:29 pm - IP Logged

                      I would be BS if they put my picture "out there" if I had the ticket and was just waiting it out like my lawyer told me to do. Many people have claimed a large sum of money with weeks/days/ even hours left to claim. Are you people really suggesting putting the winners picture out to the public?

                        Avatar
                        Keokuk,Iowa
                        United States
                        Member #116504
                        September 12, 2011
                        305 Posts
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                        Posted: September 23, 2011, 8:57 pm - IP Logged

                        I would be BS if they put my picture "out there" if I had the ticket and was just waiting it out like my lawyer told me to do. Many people have claimed a large sum of money with weeks/days/ even hours left to claim. Are you people really suggesting putting the winners picture out to the public?

                        Why not?The winner has to go through the dog & pony show when he claims it,anyway.If they show his picture now he just might realize that he has the winning ticket.If they wait until the ticket expires to release his picture he's really gonna be pissed.

                          rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                          Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                          United States
                          Member #73904
                          April 28, 2009
                          14903 Posts
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                          Posted: September 23, 2011, 9:40 pm - IP Logged

                          I would be BS if they put my picture "out there" if I had the ticket and was just waiting it out like my lawyer told me to do. Many people have claimed a large sum of money with weeks/days/ even hours left to claim. Are you people really suggesting putting the winners picture out to the public?

                          Good point Gym, I didn't even consider that when I suggested putting his picture out there (I was most likely drunk though).

                          But Cletu$ has a point too saying he'd be pissed if they didn't put his picture out there to possibly alert him.

                          And another point could be that this is one of those guys who waits til the last minute to claim anyway and will enjoy all the publicity and may even make up some c*ckamamie story about accidentally finding the ticket in his dresser drawer at the last minute or something.

                          But you have the best point because everybody has the right to claim their winnings when they get good and ready to, without having the Lottery people outting them.

                          I stand corrected.


                                                                       
                                               
                                                                   

                           

                           

                           

                           

                                                                                                                             

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

                                                                                                                      --Edmund Burke

                           

                           

                            zinniagirl's avatar - flower avatar_0026.jpg
                            nc
                            United States
                            Member #99520
                            October 26, 2010
                            375 Posts
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                            Posted: September 24, 2011, 10:07 am - IP Logged

                            As a single female,  I would not want them to put my photo out there for safety reasons.   If I am too lazy to check to see if it won, then it is my problem.   We have become to complacent and expect others to do what are out responsibilities... but that is a discussion for another place and time.

                            The winner could be in the process of setting up layers of trust funds to protect themselves.   That takes time.

                             

                            Of course that ticket is probably laying somewhere that will allow it to surface on Dec 30th.