Shady Lawyer Gives Up $7.5M Lotto Jackpot

For reasons no one is entirely clear on
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2012 11:11 AM CST
Shady Lawyer Gives Up $7.5M Lotto Jackpot
Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich speaks during a news conference at the Iowa Lottery headquarters, Monday in Des Moines, setting a deadline for Crawford Shaw to explain how he got his winning ticket.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A New York lawyer with a checkered past has relinquished his claim on a $7.5 million Iowa lottery jackpot, after being unable to explain how he got the ticket. It was the latest twist in what Iowa Lottery officials call the strangest episode in the game's 26-year history. The ticket was purchased back in December 2010, the AP explains. The lawyer, 76-year-old Crawford Shaw, claimed the prize hours before it expired last month, on behalf of a trust that he says benefits a corporation in Belize.

The lottery demanded Shaw explain how he got the ticket by today in order to make sure it wasn't stolen, and to ensure it was purchased by a valid player. But Shaw yesterday said he didn't know who bought it, for reasons that have sparked much speculation. "I'm telling you, if I could take all of the suggestions, it would be a heck of a fun book," says the lotto's CEO. Shaw has a suitably mysterious past; he's been sued for fraud in both Delaware and Texas, and helped found a company that later went bankrupt in a stock manipulation scheme. (More lotto stories.)

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