CEDAR RAPIDS - The public may be asked to help solve the mystery surrounding the purchase of a withdrawn claim for a Hot Lotto ticket worth more than $14 million in a case that included a New York attorney, a trust in Belize and unanswered questions from the Iowa Lottery.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations is considering releasing part of a surveillance tape or a photo taken from the video at a Des Moines gas station where the ticket was sold in hopes that someone will see something to help in the investigation, The Gazette reported.
"There is some point in time when you open it up (to the public) because you want attention," said Special Agent-In-Charge Patrick Townsend. "So let's see if someone out there will say, 'Hey, I know that person' or 'That looks like it could be .' or whatever it might be and see if we can get some help that way."
New York attorney Crawford Shaw attempted to claim the jackpot on behalf of a trust.
Shaw's attorneys showed up hours before the prize would have expired on Dec. 29, the one-year anniversary of the Hot Lotto prize drawing.
The ticket was the winner, but lottery officials said Shaw refused in the following weeks to explain who purchased it and who would receive the payout.
In a meeting with lottery officials, he said the trust's proceeds would go to a corporation based in Belize, a country known as a tax haven.
Shaw withdrew the claim in January after lottery officials said they would not pay the money unless he answered their questions.
Lottery Director Terry Rich said the odds of solving the mystery were 50-50.
He said it appears to be the only case in world lottery history in which someone won a major jackpot and gave it up.
The DCI has run down several leads, but none have led to an arrest.