No way the fish will get recognized without a certified weigh in. I'll give the guy credit for releasing it though. Unfortunatly every yahoo in 4 states will converge on that lake for the rest of teh season. That fish won't get lucky a 3rd time with that kind of $ and fame at stake.
FWIW, I once cuaght what I thought would be a state record LMB on a 2 wt. Didn't care about pins and hated the thought of killing her so I released it. Never regretted it but I'm not sure I could have been so noble if it was 25#+ and worth a cool Million