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Jackpot supposed to be shared, stylists say

– Seven hairstylists who are fighting for a share of a $9.5 million lottery prize bought by a co-worker at an Indianapolis salon testified Wednesday that they had all agreed to share any winnings from tickets purchased at the same time as those for an office pool.

Marion County Judge Heather Welch said she will decide by Friday whether to freeze the jackpot until the dispute over the ticket is settled.

Hairstylist Christina Shaw has said that the winning ticket in the Feb. 16 Hoosier Lotto drawing was one she bought for herself, not one of the tickets she bought for the group. But the other hairstylists testified that Shaw bought the ticket at the same time and place she bought those for the pool – something they had all agreed not to do.

Lucy Lewis Johnston, who owns Lou’s Creative Styles, said buying a personal ticket with pool tickets would make it impossible “to determine which was whose ticket.”

Hairstylist Linda Sue Stewart said that’s why they had all agreed that any such tickets “were all considered part of the pool.”

A parade of salon employees all testified to the agreement and said all of the women who played the lottery – including Shaw – knew the rules.

Shaw did not attend the hearing, and her attorney didn’t take part. Wednesday’s hearing dealt only with whether the $9.5 million payout should be frozen until the court can determine to whom the ticket belongs. Welch issued a temporary restraining order last week barring the Hoosier Lottery Commission from awarding the prize money to Shaw for 10 days.

Attorney Scott Montross, who represents the hairstylists fighting for a share of the prize, told reporters after the hearing that his clients were more hurt than angry.

“They’re disappointed that it came to this,” Montross said. “They’re much more disappointed than they are angry.”

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