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Default Jump start Prius 2011 curious thing

2011 Prius had four yr old 12 v battery. It was very weak after recent cold snap. Interior lights very dim. Prius wouldn't start. Hooked up 20 yr battery charger/starter, set for 40 amps. Cables attached propery under hood. Pressed brake, pushed start button. Dash lit up and it looked like Prius was "cranked", even though there was no gas engine noise. I quickly went to front of vehicle and disconnected the negative cable. There was some arcing as I did this and the gas engine immediately started. I disconnected the positive cable and drove the car around the neighborhood. All ok. Took car on in to local Toyota dealer and had battery tested. They said it was marginal and might be ok for several weeks/months but that they had seen some die after a couple of days. I had the battery replaced due to worries about being stranded during the holidays, etc.
So, I'm curious as to why the gas engine waited to fire up when I disconnected the neg cable. Maybe it just coincidence. Anyone else seen this ?
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