Investigators Unable to Find $14.3M Iowa Lottery Winner

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The mystery behind who actually bought a winning $14.3 million Iowa lottery ticket back in 2010 remains unsolved despite the best efforts of state investigators. The winning Hot Lotto ticket was purchased at a Des Moines gas station but no claim was made on the prize until hours before the one year time limit was about to expire.

The attempt to claim the prize was made by a lawyer claiming to be representing the purchaser of the ticket, but Crawford Shaw of Bedfond, Ny., chose to withdraw his claim on the prize only weeks after initially making it. Since the original purchaser of the prize has yet to be identified, lottery officials have not paid out the prize up to this point.

Patrick Townsend, the special-agent-in-charge of the investigation into the origins of the mysterious ticket, has recently approved agents under his command issuing subpoenas for email and phone records for individuals involved in the case in an effort to flesh out the details of what actually happened.

"I wish I could tell you it was solved. It is intriguing and has a lot of twists and turns," Townsend said. This is not a normal or typical case. It has some different aspects to it. We've definitely taken the time to look at a lot of those things and see where the leads take us. If we knew who bought the ticket, then we'd be a lot further down the road."

Shaw initially told lottery officials that the winnings from the ticket would go to a corporation based in Belize and then later offered to just allow the jackpot to go to charity in order to avoid controversy. Iowa lottery officials rejected the offer.

The prize would have been worth $7.5 million in cash, or $10.3 million over 25 years, after taxes. The ongoing mystery has led to Iowa lottery officials running a "Mystery Millionaire" promotion with the organization’s share of the unclaimed jackpot. A $1 million prize was given away at the state fair in August.

Source: (Fox News)