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An Almost Happy Story: Coda

February 18, 2012

I would like to give one final update on the significant events that have recently unfolded in the mysterious case of the unclaimed $16.5 million dollar Iowa Lottery “Hot Lotto” Grand Prize.  If you are unsure of the news story to which I am referring please click on the link to your right, An Almost Happy Story, or google some combination of “16.5 million”, “unclaimed”, “ticket” and “Iowa” and you will be quickly led to a catalogue of relevant news stories on this bizarre event.

As I reported at the end of An Almost Happy Story, after the tragic suicide of potential winner Lorraine McCormick, the missing lottery ticket, that had caused so much grief for the McCormick family and so much confusion in the state of Iowa for lottery officials and the countless Iowans who awaited its advent with Rapture-like enthusiasm, was finally, within minutes of the deadline, turned in by a unnamed man.  The “mystery” was solved and the “Hot Lotto” millions were going to be awarded to its lucky winner.

However, it turns out this Iowa State lottery saga did not have its happy winner as had previously been reported in the news.    In truth, the advent was only of a false prophet seeking false profits:

Hexham Investments Trust of Bedford, N.Y., the firm representing the unnamed ticket holder, refused to divulge the identity of their winning client.   The suspicious circumstances surrounding the claim and the growing doubt regarding the authenticity of the ticket prompted an investigation from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa attorney general.  In light of the criminal investigation, as well as reports surfacing of pending fraud suits against him in Texas and Delaware, attorney Crawford Shaw, trustee for Hexham Investments, decided in the end to withdraw his claim for the millions  – “to avoid any controversy.”

To everyone’s continued astonishment, the valid, winning ticket was never produced.  The million-dollar jackpot was never claimed.  All the money was simply returned to the coffers of the Iowa State lottery.

So what does this all mean?  Where was the ticket?

Almost certainly Lorraine McCormick had the ticket.  What I thought would be a piece of fiction, a made-up drama on the vicissitudes of fate written to entertain a few people and myself, became in fact a work of journalism – a true story.   A true story that ended up destroying the life of a good natured, helpless woman and robbed two wonderful, healthy children of their caring mother.  I feel sorry for Lorraine and Tina and Zach and I sincerely wish I had never written the story.  But it is too late now.   All I can hope for now is that An Almost Happy Story serves as some sort of cautionary tale on the dangers of writing.  Beware:  fiction, even bad fiction, is capable of murder.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. hernandez permalink
    April 5, 2012 7:29

    What the hell are you talking about? There has not been no winner and the jackpot was not paid . The investigation is ongoing and ms loraine is not the winner. This ticket was stolen from me on 12/30/2010. I reported it that day to the ia loterry. Crazy story you got here.

    • April 9, 2012 7:29

      Hey Lucas,

      My story is just a story. It’s fiction (!) A made up drama — one possible imaginative ‘explanation’ why nobody has claimed the prize. But what’s your story? What really happened to the winning ticket then? Why hasn’t the news reported that it was stolen from you? By whom? How did they know you had the ticket? Why didn’t the culprits claim the prize for themselves? I would love to hear the REAL story about the Hot Lotto Grand Prize . . .

      • hernandez permalink
        April 14, 2012 7:29

        What’s the real story you ask? The real story is that I’m confused as heck, I can’t figure out who the real crooks here are the crawford shaw crew or the ia lottery.
        I reported this ticket stolen to the ia lottery on 1/03/2011 but brought it to their attantion on 12/30/2010, for a convinince store clerk stole it from me after I presented it for checking. I hired two diffrent law firms to represent me but to no avail. First it was no ticket no pay out now it’s well mr crawford signed it, now it’s void, the hell with the report of it being stolen or the treasure trove law and the law of possesion which stae that your possesions are yours unless you intentionally abbondon them.
        I first thought it was the one I purchased after work but it came out to be one that was purchased on my behalf by one of my bosses who now eledges that he didn’t buy a ticket and won’t step up to be id by security.
        Let’s remember now this ticket has been presented and validated which now gives it a face value of 7.5 million dollars. Under the treasure trove law crawford shaw was only the custodian and now that he withdrew the ia lottery is now considered the cusrodian till the ag and dci find out the true story however the ia lottery is trying to use the (99g) law to this which says tickets are void if stolen, in my opinion this law doese not pertain here for it should only fall into play if the ticket got stolen from the retailer or the ia lottery themselfs. Now they are promoting this big giveaway at the ia statefair to make peoples mind more at ease and keep them from asking questions and lead them to believe that hey we are not keeping the loot, this is just nother way for them to profit of it.

        These numbers were very significant to me the thing is that I had forgotten that it had two sets of lines, but the entire time iv’e claimed that the numbers had multiple meaning and tthat they where interwind and as you can see the two lines where practiclly identical except for two numbers.

        I have not gone public do to the complexcity and am only waiting for the findings of the dci and ag. I have four children and a wife to protect from the humiliation of going public and get no payment.

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