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Indiana Hair Stylists Battle Over $9.5M Jackpot

ABC News' Alex Perez reports:

Seven hair stylists who work together at an Indianapolis salon spent Wednesday not cutting hair but in a nearby courtroom battling over a $9.5 million jackpot.

The controversy began Feb. 16 when the women from Lou's Creative Styles pooled their money to buy several lottery tickets.

The woman who purchased the tickets, hairstylist Christina Shaw, has maintained that the winning ticket in the Feb. 16 Hoosier Lotto drawing was one she bought for herself, not one of the tickets she purchased for the group.

"She came into the shop on Monday after the Saturday night drawing and she said, 'We didn't win but I did,'" said the group's attorney, Scott Montross.

Shaw's coworkers testified Wednesday that they had all agreed to share any winnings from tickets purchased at the same time as those for an office pool. The other hair stylists also testified that Shaw bought the ticket at the same time and place she bought those for the pool - something they said they had all agreed not to do.

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

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."

Stylist Edna Thomas testified Wednesday that the group had agreed that whomever purchased the tickets had to buy any personal lotto tickets at another location.

"It was discussed and mentioned," she said. "It was a rule."

Shaw, who has since quit her job, did not attend the hearing, and her attorney didn't take part. Wednesday's hearing dealt solely with whether the $9.5 million payout should be frozen until the court can make a ruling on ownership. Welch issued a temporary restraining order last week barring the Hoosier Lottery Commission from awarding the prize money to Shaw for 10 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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