$14.3M jackpot abandoned leading police to investigate murder
The deadline has passed to collect on a $14.3 million lotto jackpot in Iowa. The twist in this story is someone actually turned in the winning ticket to collect the prize. Crawford Shaw, of Bedford, N.Y., turned the ticket in a year after the winning numbers were announced, just hours before the deadline, claiming to represent a trust that owned it. He sent the ticket to an Iowa law firm, via FedEx, to be awarded the money.
According to ABC News, when the Iowa Lotto challenged Shaw's ownership, he dropped his claim. The deadline for the jackpot passed, and that would normally be the end of the story. However, authorities in Iowa are investigating the matter.
"The possibilities of what could have occurred here really are endless," says Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer, "It could have been as serious as someone being killed." It wouldn't be the first time someone has been killed over lottery winnings. She says that, while the ticket was definitely the genuine article, Shaw "couldn't answer some very simple security questions."
Among the things Shaw and his lawyers didn't know were who originally purchased the ticket, where it was purchased from, and why it took a year to come forward to collect the winnings.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has subpoenaed phone and email records to try to resolve the mystery. That division's communications manager, Jessica Lown, says, "The important thing is that we want to be sure there is nobody in physical jeopardy or that there is no financial crime going on."
As for Shaw, he brushed the story off as "old news," saying he's spoken with officials in Iowa and had no further comment.
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