DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A winning $16.5 million lottery ticket bought last year in Des Moines, Iowa, was turned in less than 2 hours before its expiration Thursday, officials said.
The Hot Lotto ticket was purchased at a QuikTrip convenience store in Des Moines Dec. 29, 2010, but no one had claimed the prize as the one-year deadline was to expire at 4 p.m., which would make the ticket worthless, the Iowa Lottery said Thursday.
Julie Johnson McLean of Des Moines law firm Davis, Brown, Koehn, Shors & Roberts presented the ticket on behalf of Hexam Investments Trust, with Crawford Shaw of Bedford, N.Y., as the trustee, the Iowa Lottery said in a news release.
Johnson McLean had the winning ticket validated today at lottery headquarters in Des Moines, the release said.
The Iowa Lottery had been flooded with calls as the deadline approached.
"It appears that the repeated reminders we've issued over the past year -- and the information that the media helped us distribute to the public -- worked as we had hoped, and brought in the winner just in the nick of time," Iowa Lottery Chief Executive Officer Terry Rich said in a news release.
The Iowa Lottery said the Hot Lotto winning numbers were 3, 12, 16, 26, 33 and Hot Ball number, 11.
Hot Lotto tickets are sold in 14 states and Washington, D.C.
On Monday, a $77 million prize for a Powerball ticket purchased in Georgia in the summer went unclaimed within the 180 days to come forward.