Sue Burgess, of Ridge Manor, Florida, had to forfeit the $1,000 she won in a Second Chance Lottery drawing because the U.S. Postal Service lost her winning ticket, according to Tampa’s NBC affiliate TV station WFLA.
Burgess found out she won on July 29, and typically, she would go to her local lottery office in person to claim any prize over $600. However, all locations were closed due to the pandemic, leaving her with the only option of mailing her ticket to the state’s headquarters in Tallahassee.
Burgess could either send her ticket in a dropbox or through certified mail. She chose the latter because she had only a few days left to get her ticket postmarked and meet the one-week time frame given to winners to claim their prize.
“That’s why you chose certified mail,” she said. “With Covid, I understand the Mail is a little bit slow. But for safety sake, certified mail usually has priority.”
The tracking information showed that the ticket arrived at a post office in Tallahassee at 7:12 a.m. on August 12, but it never made its way to the lottery office, showing her ticket is still “in transit, so it was not delivered.” Since the ticket never made it to the office on time, her prize went to an alternate winner.
The Postal Service is working with the Florida Lottery to “confirm receipt of the mailpiece.” In turn, the lottery office said that if her ticket shows up postmarked within the one-week window she was given, they will honor it. Burgess doubts that it will show up since it has already been six weeks since the package arrived at the Tallahassee post office.