INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana judge barred the state lottery commission from awarding a $9.5 million lottery prize Friday pending a decision on whether the jackpot should be given to a hairstylist or shared between her and her colleagues.
Seven stylists at Lous Creative Styles in Indianapolis say the winning Hoosier Lotto ticket for the Feb. 16 drawing was part of an office lottery pool. Christina Shaw insists she bought the ticket for herself, not the pool.
Marion Superior Court Judge Heather Welch issued a preliminary injunction to stall payment of the jackpot until the legal battle has been resolved.
The hairstylists who brought the lawsuit testified Wednesday that they had all agreed to share any winnings from tickets bought at the same time as those for an office pool. A court document states Shaw knew the rules because they were regularly discussed in the salon.
Shaw told one of her co-workers that the winner was a personal ticket and that she purchased the group lottery tickets and her personal lottery tickets at the same time and the same location, according to a court document. But Lucy Lewis Johnston, who owns Lous Creative Styles, said in court Wednesday that buying a personal ticket with pool tickets would make it impossible to determine which was whose ticket.
Hairstylist Linda Sue Stewart said thats why they all agreed that any such tickets were all considered part of the pool. Shaw did not attend the hearing, and her attorney didnt take part.
The lottery commission did not oppose the preliminary injunction.
We really arent involved in the dispute and continue to just follow the courts orders, said Al Larsen, a spokesman for the lottery. Well wait until there is a resolution and were told to move forward.
Attorney Scott Montross, who represents the hairstylists fighting for a share of the prize, said his clients were more hurt than angry.
Theyre disappointed that it came to this, Montross said.