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Westchester Lawyer Withdraws Multimillion Dollar Iowa Lottery Claim

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Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich holding the winning lottery ticket at a news conference after it was claimed on Dec. 29, 2011 (credit: YouTube)

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich holding the winning lottery ticket at a news conference after it was claimed on Dec. 29, 2011 (credit: YouTube)

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DES MOINES, Iowa (CBSNewYork/AP) — Westchester attorney’s decision to withdraw his claim on a multimillion dollar Iowa Lottery prize doesn’t put to rest officials’ questions about how he obtained the ticket.

Crawford Shaw of Bedford, NY withdrew his claim Thursday on a $14 million winning lottery ticket just as mysteriously as he has made it.

The winning ticket was purchased at a Des Moines gas station 13 months ago in Dec. of 2010.

The lottery said Shaw claimed the prize on Dec. 29, 2011, less than two hours before the ticket expired, on behalf of the Bedford-based Hexham Investments Trust. But instead of claiming the prize in person, Shaw shipped it by FedEx to a Des Moines law firm he had retained.

Watch YouTube video of when the ticket was claimed from the Iowa Lottery:

The lottery wanted to know how Shaw obtained the ticket to make sure it wasn’t stolen and that a valid player bought it. They said Shaw misspelled the name of the trust by leaving off the second “h.” Shaw claimed not to be a beneficiary of the trust.

But on Thursday, Shaw said through the Des Moines law firm that he couldn’t satisfy lottery officials’ request for basic information about how he obtained the winning ticket.

“In order that the claim be resolved without further controversy, Crawford Shaw, as Trustee for and on behalf of the Trust, does hereby withdraw the Claim and does hereby agree to take no further action to enforce the Claim,” the fax signed by Shaw reads.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said the whole thing has been more than a little bizarre.

“It’s been one of the strangest lottery claims that we’ve had in the 26-year history of the Iowa lottery,” he said. “It brings to a close a very interesting and unique situation.”

Iowa officials say the uncollected prize money will go toward future jackpots. The lottery has asked the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa attorney general to investigate.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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