Why would anyone turn down a $14 million lotto prize? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Why would anyone turn down a $14 million lotto prize?


It's official -- the $14 million Hot Lotto prize is going unclaimed. The winning ticket was sold in Des Moines in 2010, and a lawyer representing ticket owners came forward two hours before the prize was set to expire in November.

Thursday night, Crawford Shaw withdrew his claim on the winnings. Shaw refused to identify the owners of the ticket, and would not give a reason for declining the prize.

In light of Thursday night's announcement, we wanted to know what you think -- why would anyone turn down a multi-million dollar prize? So we stopped by a couple Waterloo gas stations, where employees and customers were all talking about the mystery.

"I can't imagine what the reason would be," said Catherine Lee. "$14 million? I mean, my word!"

Lee is no stranger to the lottery. She won a $10,000 scratch-off a few years ago.

"I was like, scratch, go run into Hy-Vee, and off to Cedar Rapids we went! We went so fast we didn't even remember going to Cedar Rapids!" she recalled.

It just so happens, worker Patty Jensen was also a winner.

"Last year on my birthday I played a $3 crossword and won $30,000. Happy birthday to me!" she joked.

But she said, it doesn't compare with $14 million.

"I'd be like, retirement, retirement, retirement!!" Jensen said.

Neither of the ladies could understand why someone would buy a ticket, and then forfeit the millions.

"I have no idea. I'm curious. I'm sure everybody is. A lot of people are curious. Hopefully we'll find out!" said Lee.

At another local store, Gerhard Boschen imagines the winner has something major to hide.

"I would say, first of all, you wouldn't wait till the last hour to turn it in. And then to withdraw it, there's gotta be something else going on," he said. "I think there's gotta be something fishy about it. You don't just turn down $14 million if you have a legit ticket."

These folks would like to see the person's identity revealed.

"I don't know the legality of it all, but I hope so," Jensen said. "I'd kind of like to know and go -- what a fool you are!!"

The good news is, the money goes back into the Hot Lotto pot for someone else to win.... and hopefully claim.

"Hope the next time you interview me it's because I won $14 million!" Lee added.

Iowa lottery officials have looked at the surveillance tape, and confirm that it was a legitimate winning ticket. With so many unanswered questions, the Iowa Attorney General's Office and the Division of Criminal Investigations are looking into the case.

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