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Iowa family finds expired winning lottery ticket, misses out on $100,000

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(CNN/KCCI) -- One Iowa family missed out on $100,000 after the father found a winning lottery ticket months after it expired.

But he's not kicking himself and is focusing on what he has, rather than what he lost.

Bradly Hanawalt never considered himself a lucky guy. He came home in a wheelchair after serving in Afghanistan.

But he thought his luck had changed when he found a winning lottery ticket in his wife's car for $100,000!

"My gut dropped because I was like a chance of having 100, 000 dollars, so that was awesome," Hanawalt said.

He says his wife Carla bought the ticket on November 26, 2019, at a Qwik Trip. The problem was they did not try to claim the prize until February 8th, 2021. It had expired on November 30th, 2020.

"It doesn't hurt because I didn't have that money before, but it still hurts because I could have had that money," Hanawalt said. "I have 6 daughters, and that would have been really nice to help out with bills and everything else."

Hanawalt says his wife had COVID in November and argued for an extension, but the lottery did not grant extensions since they never closed during the pandemic.

"We feel great empathy for these folks," Mary Neubauer of Iowa Lottery said. "But Iowa law, the Powerball rules, our administrative rules all are very clear that once a prize is expired, it cannot be claimed."

The Iowa Lottery had issued a statewide release about the unclaimed 100 grand.

"We put out a reminder in that final week saying to people, please double check your tickets, look at home, look on the sun visor on your car, if you have a pile of tickets at home, please check them," Neubauer said.

The Hanawalts checked theirs too late. But instead of counting his lottery losses, Bradley is now counting his blessings.

"It's money I didn't have, but I have everything that I want," he said. "I'm blessed to have 6 healthy kids, I'm walking again. We're all healthy and happy and we're just loving life."

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