Lottery winners plea with Iowa Lottery for extension
By Kate Northrop
DES MOINES, Iowa — A couple who held a winning Powerball lottery ticket worth $100,000 missed the deadline to claim their prize after discovering the rogue ticket in their car mere months too late.
Having returned from a tour in Afghanistan in a wheelchair, Bradly Hanawalt of Des Moines never thought that luck was on his side. While going through his wife's car, he discovered a lone Powerball ticket worth $100,000 and instantly thought his luck had changed.
However, that feeling of good fortune had dissipated as quickly as it came when they learned that the deadline to cash the ticket had expired months before.
"My gut dropped," Bradly told KCCI. "A chance to have $100,000 was awesome."
Bradly's wife, Carla, purchased the winning ticket at the QuikTrip convenience store on Fleur Drive in Des Moines for the drawing on Nov. 27, 2019. The ticket matched four white balls to win a $50,000 prize, but she had added on the Power Play option to double her winnings to $100,000.
The winning numbers for the drawing were 15, 26, 37, 53, 55, and Powerball 21. The Power Play number was 2.
Bradly and Carla had until 4:00 pm on Nov. 30, 2020 to claim the prize at one of the Iowa Lottery's offices, but they didn't try to cash the ticket until Feb. 8, 2021.
"It doesn't hurt because I didn't have that money before, but it still hurts because I could have had that money," Bradly explained in an interview. "I have six daughters, and that would have been really nice to help out with bills and everything else."
The unlucky lottery winner also mentioned that Carla had been sick from COVID-19 in November and requested a deadline extension from the Lottery because of it. While sympathetic for the couple's unfortunate situation, the Lottery said that they could not grant claims extensions to players since they were operational during the pandemic.
"We feel great empathy for these folks, but Iowa law, the Powerball rules, our administrative rules all are very clear that once a prize is expired, it cannot be claimed," Mary Neubauer, Vice President of External Relations at the Lottery said.
One week before the ticket expired, the Lottery published a press release urging players in Des Moines to check their tickets.
"We put out a reminder in that final week saying to people, 'Please double-check your tickets, look at home, look on the sun visor of your car; if you have a pile of tickets at your home, please check them,'" Neubauer continued.
While there's nothing that can be done to claim the missed prize, Bradly said he's looking on the bright side and appreciating everything that he already has.
"It was money that I didn't have, but I have everything that I want," he reassured. "I'm blessed to have six healthy kids, I'm walking again, we're all healthy and happy, and we're just loving life."
The unfortunate mishap isn't changing the Hanawalt's sunny outlook on winning big again in the future either — Carla said she still buys two to three lottery tickets a week.