Florida woman forced to waive lotto prize after USPS loses ticket

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A Florida woman says she was forced to forfeit her lotto prize after the U.S. Postal Service lost her winning ticket in the mail.

Sue Burgess, of Hernando County, said she was thrilled to find out earlier this summer that she had landed $ 1,000 in the state’s Second Chance Lottery game, the WFLA news station.

“I was delighted. It was like winning a million bucks for me, ”Burgess said at the point of sale.

But at the time, she couldn’t claim her winnings at any of the local lottery offices as they were closed due to the pandemic.

She followed the instructions from the state lottery and went to the post office to send her ticket by certified mail, the outlet reported.

Burgess said the ticket never made it to the lottery office within the one-week period required to claim the prize, however.

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Its tracking information last showed the ticket in transit on Aug. 12 at a Tallahassee post office, WFLA reported.

“They said, ‘We didn’t get this ticket.’ They said, “No ticket, no prize,” said Burgess, whose prize went to another winner.

Burgess said she was frustrated because she could have left her ticket in a drop box at a local lottery office, but she believed certified mail was the safest and most efficient option.

“That’s why you choose certified mail,” said Burgess. “With COVID, I understand the mail is a bit slow. But for security reasons, certified mail usually takes priority. ”

Six weeks later, the winning ticket is still missing.

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The USPS apologized to Burgess and said it was working with the state lottery to help them cash in their prize.

“We apologize to this specific customer for any inconvenience he may have suffered,” the Postal Service said.

“In this specific case, we are continuing to work with the lottery office to confirm receipt of the mailing.”

The Florida Lottery has said it is not responsible for errors made by the Postal Service, although it makes an exception for Burgess and will pay its prize if the package appears postmarked before the date. initial limit, reported the WFLA.

“SP. Burgess’s situation is an unusual circumstance and to our knowledge no other winner has experienced a similar problem, ”the lottery said.

“Because the lottery did not receive the ticket from Ms. Burgess within the seven day claim period, another winner was selected and paid. However, if Ms. Burgess’ package arrives at Florida Lottery Headquarters with a date stamp prior to the original expiration date, our complaints department will process and pay for her claim. ”

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