12/30/2011 05:40 pm ET

Iowa Lottery Winner Claims $16.5 Million Prize At Last Minute

Talk about procrastination.

The winner of an Iowa Lottery ticket valued at $16.5 million waited until two hours before the deadline to claim the prize. The ticket was purchased nearly one year ago.

Even though the prize has been claimed, it's still not clear who the winner is, according to the Des Moines Register.

The paper explains that attorneys from a Des Moines law firm went to lottery headquarters with the winning ticket, but they weren't the winners. Instead, they worked for Hexam Investment Trust in Bedford, New York, and it's still unclear if someone from Hexam is the ticket owner or if the trust simply represents the winner.

An Iowa lottery official told the paper that, before a check is handed over, the lottery will go through "standard security protocols" to make sure the money goes to its rightful owner.

"It's amazing things were cut that close," Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer told the AP, adding that it's still not clear where the ticket has been since the winning numbers were announced one year ago.

Still, at least someone stepped forward to claim the winnings in Iowa. On Monday, a $77 million lottery ticket went unclaimed in Georgia, according to CNN.


Subscribe to the Weird News email.
Truth is stranger than fiction. Step into the world of weird news.