Press Room

Lottery Seeks Specifics By Friday, Otherwise, Hot Lotto® Jackpot Claim Will Be Denied; Investigation Continues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa Lottery officials and representatives of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Iowa Attorney General's Office met on Monday to review the latest information regarding the Hot Lotto jackpot claim from December 2010. Following that meeting, Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich released the following statement:

"The Iowa Lottery continues its investigation into the claim of the Hot Lotto jackpot won on Dec. 29, 2010, with a ticket purchased in Des Moines. We share information with the DCI and Attorney General's Office on any number of matters throughout the year and will continue to keep them updated in this instance as well.

From the time that this winning ticket was presented in late December, we have repeatedly stated that we need information to ensure that the ticket was legally purchased, legally possessed and legally presented. That information has not been shared with us, and we therefore have not paid the prize.

We met on Jan. 17 with local counsel from the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines and Crawford Shaw, who signed the winning ticket as the trustee for Hexham Investments Trust. It was a cordial meeting, but the details we sought were not provided. We did learn during the meeting that the name of the trust that owns the ticket was misspelled when the winning ticket was signed. The name is Hexham, not Hexam, as is reflected on the back of the ticket.

In the days since then, court documentation has revealed that a person named Crawford Shaw is associated with criminal proceedings and bankruptcy filings in New York and Delaware. What does any of that have to do with the jackpot-winning ticket? We don't know; it could be nothing. But the fact that the information exists means it is something that the Iowa Lottery will need to review.

In addition, the lottery has been contacted by numerous people, each of whom individually alleges that the winning ticket was stolen from them. While we can't speak to the veracity of any of those claims, we do need the specifics we have requested in order to address them.

We are now nearing one month since the winning ticket was presented. That milestone will be reached on Sunday, when the lottery's offices are closed. We have therefore set 3 p.m. CST Friday (Jan. 27) as the deadline by which the information we seek must be shared with the Iowa Lottery. If that information is not shared by that time, we will deny the prize payment. The Iowa Lottery this afternoon is delivering a letter explaining these specifics to the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines.

As we have said before, we're glad that the winning ticket has been turned in. We look forward to learning more details about the situation. However, the jackpot prize has not been paid -- and will not be paid -- until the lottery has been able to complete the security process for this jackpot win.

This is the first time the lottery has experienced a situation like this in its 26-year history, and we will continue our work, understanding that the security and integrity of the Iowa Lottery and its games cannot be compromised."

Additional background:

The jackpot-winning ticket from the Hot Lotto drawing on Dec. 29, 2010, was presented at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines with less than two hours to go before it would have expired on Dec. 29, 2011. The ticket was presented by two lawyers from the Davis, Brown, Koehn, Shors & Roberts law firm in Des Moines on behalf of Hexham Investments Trust, with Crawford Shaw as the trustee. No member of the trust was present when the ticket was presented.