A Florida woman says she was forced to lose her lottery prize after the U.S. Postal Service lost her winning ticket in the mail.
Sue Burgess, of Hernando County, said she was excited to discover earlier this summer that she had won $ 1,000 in the WFLA news program, the state’s Second Chance lottery.
“I was thrilled. It was like making a million dollars for me, “Burgess told the store.
But at the time, she could not claim her winnings at any of the local lottery offices because they were closed due to the pandemic.
She followed the instructions of the state lottery and went to the post office to send her ticket by certified mail, the outlet reported.
Burgess said, however, the ticket never reached the lottery office within the one-week period required to claim the prize.
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Tracking information shows the last ticket in transit on August 1
“They said, ‘We didn’t get that ticket.’ They said, “No ticket, no prize,” said Burgess, whose prize went to an alternate winner.
Burgess said she was disappointed to be able to leave her ticket in a box at a local lottery, but believed that certified mail was a safer and more efficient option.
“That’s why you choose certified mail,” Burgess said. “With COVID, I understand that mail is a bit slow. But for security reasons, certified mail usually takes precedence. “
Six weeks later, the winning ticket is still unknown.
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The USPS apologized to Burgess and said he was working with the state lottery to help her cash her prize.
“We apologize to this particular customer for any inconvenience,” the postal service said.
“In this particular case, we continue to work with the lottery office to confirm receipt of the mail.”
The Florida lottery said it was not responsible for errors made by the postal service, although it would make an exception for Burgess and pay her prize if the package appeared on postage stamps in the initial period, WFLA reported.
“Miss. Burgess’s situation is an unusual circumstance and, as far as we know, no other winner has had such a problem,” the lottery said.
“As the Lottery did not receive Ms. Burgess’s ticket within the seven-day claim period, an alternative winner was selected and paid. However, if Ms. Burgess’s package arrives at the Florida lottery headquarters with a stamp dated before the original expiration date, our claims department will process and pay her request. “
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