Powerball winner turned away by lottery office

August 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Lottery Winners

A US Powerball winner was turned away by the lottery office after he arrived too late to claim his prize. The Iowa Lottery’s slogan is, “You can’t win if you don’t play but this lottery winner discovered that you cannot claim your prize money if you show up shortly after the offices close.

Rick Hamilton, a 55 year old retired U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs employee was camping at the Iowa State Fair with his wife and also friends, Vickie and Terry Chambers when he heard the news that a local person had won $1 million on the Powerball lottery. Hamilton bought his ticket at a Hy-Vee convenience store in Pleasant Hill and heard rumours that the winning ticket had been sold there, so he hurriedly checked the lottery numbers in the newspaper. Hamilton said “My knees went weak. I lost my breath, and I went dizzy after he had discovered his win.

The four friends had long agreed that if one of them won the lottery, they would split the pot equally. Hamilton’s good friend Terry Chambers who was set to share in the lottery windfall told reporters, “We couldn’t hardly believe it. We had to help Rick sit back down.” Hamilton recovered from the shock then headed with his friends to the Hy-Vee store, where the clerk verified that he was a $1 million winner.

Hamilton then raced over to Iowa Lottery headquarters claim his prize at about 5 pm but the door was locked and nobody would let him inside. After he pressed his face against the glass and explained to a woman inside that he had won $1 million she said she politely told him to come back the next day and suggested that he consulted a financial adviser in the meantime.

The following morning lottery winner Hamilton, his wife and their two friends all headed over to the Iowa Lottery headquarters again, this time to be presented with a cheque for approximately $700,000 after state and federal taxes were deducted.

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