A Florida woman says she was forced to forfeit her lotto prize after the US Postal Service lost her winning ticket in the mail.
Sue Burgess, of Hernando County, said she was thrilled to discover earlier this summer that she snagged $1,000 in the state’s Second Chance Lottery game, news station WFLA.
“I was elated. It was like winning a million dollars to me,” Burgess told the outlet.
But at the time, she couldn’t claim her winnings at any of the local lottery offices since they were closed due to the pandemic.
She followed the state lottery’s instructions and went to USPS to send in her ticket via certified mail, the outlet reported.
Burgess said the ticket, however, never made it to the lottery office in the one-week time frame required to claim the prize.
Her tracking information last showed the ticket in transit on Aug. 12 at a Tallahassee post office, WFLA reported.
“They said, ‘We have not received this ticket.’ They said, ‘No ticket, no prize,’” said Burgess, whose prize money went to an alternate winner.
Burgess said she’s now frustrated because she could’ve left her ticket in a dropbox at a local lottery office, but she believed that certified mail was the safer and more efficient option.
“That’s why you choose certified mail,” Burgess said. “With COVID, I understand the mail is a little bit slow. But for safety sake, certified mail usually has priority.”
Six weeks later, the winning ticket is still unaccounted for.