Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A Kansas couple who didn't have time to claim their $100,000 lottery prize said they hid their winning ticket in the freezer for a month.
Tim Hiatt said he stopped at a Belleville store in November and decided to buy a Kansas Lottery ticket.
"On Black Friday, I stopped at our local Casey's and asked the store clerk what lottery ticket she thought I should buy," Hiatt said. "If it weren't for her suggesting I buy a Holiday Millionaire Raffle ticket that day, we never would have won."
Hiatt said he took his ticket to a liquor store to check it after the Jan. 3 drawing.
"When I checked the ticket myself, I received a message I'd never seen before," Hiatt said. "The message said something about claiming the ticket at the Lottery. I thought something was wrong, so I asked my friend who was working at the liquor store to check the ticket for me. When we found out it was worth $100,000, we couldn't believe it! I was so surprised!"
Hiatt's wife, Karen, shared his surprise.
"I thought he was joking," she said. "I didn't believe him until he went back to the store and had the ticket checked again. Tim took a photo of the screen on the lottery terminal that showed we had to claim the prize at the Lottery. I knew then he wasn't kidding."
The Hiatts said they realized there was one problem with their prize -- they didn't have time to travel to Topeka to claim it.
"It's kind of scary having a big winning ticket like that lying around," Tim Hiatt said. "We decided to put the ticket in our freezer in case someone broke into our house. We figured no one would bother looking in there."
The ticket remained "on ice" for more than a month, until they were able to collect their winnings on Monday.