Lawyer gives up $14 million Iowa lottery ticket claim

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 26, 2012 6:18 PM

By Karen Freifeld

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York lawyer who tried to redeem a multi-million dollar lottery ticket in Iowa last month -- only to have his claim called into question by officials demanding to know who he represented -- is giving up the quest for the jackpot.

Crawford Shaw, 76, said on Thursday he was withdrawing his claim to a Hot Lotto ticket worth up to $14.3 million "because I'm not going to argue with the lottery."

Shaw's decision would appear to end what Iowa lottery officials called the strangest jackpot pursuit they had ever experienced.

While Iowa Lottery officials had tested and validated the ticket, they refused to pay out the winnings until they could verify the purchaser's identity, among other things.

Shaw, who had signed the ticket as a trustee for an entity he called the Hexam Investment Trust, declined to identify who he represented.

Iowa Lottery officials gave him a deadline: Tell us who you represent by 3 p.m. Friday afternoon or forget about collecting the millions.

Shaw choose to call it quits, telling Reuters that he had asked a local law firm to pass along his decision to lottery officials.

A spokeswoman for the lottery said they had not received notice of withdrawal from Shaw as of late Thursday afternoon.

"We are checking with the local counsel," said the spokeswoman, Mary Neubauer.

(Editing by Paul Thomasch)