DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich issued the following statement Thursday regarding the claim of the Hot Lotto jackpot after nearly a year:
"The winning ticket for the multi-million-dollar Hot Lotto jackpot won on Dec. 29, 2010, here in Iowa has been presented today to the Iowa Lottery, coming in just under the wire before the prize was set to expire. It appears that the repeated reminders we've issued over the past year -- and the information that the media helped us distribute to the public -- worked as we had hoped, and brought in the winner just in the nick of time.
We worried for months that the jackpot would not be claimed, so we're glad that the winning ticket has been turned in. We emphasize, however, that the money has not been paid out -- and will not be paid out -- until the lottery has been able to complete the security process for a jackpot win.
This security process is a standard part of a jackpot claim, but additional security scrutiny is required in this particular instance by the rules of the Hot Lotto game because more than half the prize-claim period for the jackpot had expired.
The jackpot-winning ticket was presented to the lottery today by a representative of a Des Moines law firm on behalf of a trust. We have not yet had the opportunity to meet with the actual winners and ask the security questions we need to have answered regarding the ticket and its purchase.
The jackpot-winning ticket was presented by Julie Johnson McLean of the Davis, Brown, Koehn, Shors & Roberts law firm in Des Moines on behalf of Hexam Investments Trust, with Crawford Shaw of Bedford, N.Y., as the trustee. Ms. Johnson McLean had the winning ticket validated today at lottery headquarters in Des Moines, but no representative of the trust was present.
The Davis-Brown firm contacted the lottery on Tuesday (Dec. 27), indicating that it had been asked to provide legal services to a trust in connection with the jackpot claim. This was not the first inquiry we had received from a lawyer on behalf of a client about this jackpot, and in none of the other instances did those involved have the winning ticket. We did not want to comment specifically about any of the inquiries until and unless someone actually brought the winning ticket here to the lottery, and that just happened this afternoon. The name of the trust was shared with us here at the Iowa Lottery when the ticket was presented today.
We look forward to learning the details we've all been wondering about these many months, such as: How did the winner find out he had the jackpot-winning ticket? How long has he known he'd won? Why did he wait until the last day to turn in the ticket? Every winner's situation is different, and it's always fun to hear the story.
This was one of the biggest lottery mysteries in the country, and we know from the hundreds of contacts we received that a lot of people were worried they may have had the winning ticket and somehow misplaced it. We hope this update today can put people's minds at ease, and we're glad that the winning ticket has been presented before time ran out, as would have happened at 4 p.m. today.
We will continue the work that needs to be done as part of this claim in the coming days. I'll be happy to take your questions."