Lotto Winner Forfeits Prize After USPS Loses Ticket

They said, ‘no ticket, no prize'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2020 3:17 AM CDT
Lotto Winner Forfeits Prize After USPS Loses Ticket
Burgess says she was "elated" when the Florida Lottery told her she was a winner.   (Getty Images/StevieS)

A Florida woman says the United States Postal Service turned her lottery win into a loss. The woman says she had to forfeit a $1,000 prize in the state's Second Chance lottery after she followed the lottery's instructions and sent the winning ticket by certified mail, only for it to disappear somewhere along the way, Fox reports. The last tracking information shows it in transit at a Tallahassee post office on Aug. 12. With lottery offices closed due to the pandemic, Sue Burgess says she chose certified mail instead of a dropbox because she thought it was safer. "That’s why you choose certified mail,” she says. “With COVID, I understand the mail is a little bit slow. But for safety sake, certified mail usually has priority."

Burgess tells WFLA that she was "elated" when Florida Lottery authorities informed her of the win. "It was like a million dollars to me," she says. But when the ticket wasn't received before the deadline, authorities said, "No ticket, no prize," Burgess says. Lottery authorities say the prize money was given to another winner, but they will make an exception to the rule and give Burgess the $1,000 if the envelope eventually turns up and bears a postmark dated before the deadline. The USPS apologized to Burgess and said it is "continuing to work with the lottery office to confirm receipt of the mailpiece" so Burgess can claim the prize. (More lottery stories.)

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