Hernando County Woman Receives her Prize after Being told to Forfeit


A woman from Hernando County had been told that she would have to forfeit her lottery prize worth $1,000 after her ticket was lost in the mail. In a surprising turn of events, the Florida lottery officials announced that even though USPS tracking information indicated it wasn’t delivered, they have found the missing ticket. Sue Burgess had reached out to Better Call Behnken after learning that her winning ticket had not been delivered by the U.S. Postal Service to the state lottery headquarters. Consequently, the lottery officials claimed that they couldn’t be held responsible for mistakes made by the post office. 

Burgess was told that she wouldn’t receive her prize because as per the lotto rules, her ticket hadn’t been delivered by the deadline date. The day after the news was published, a lottery official called her and told her that they had changed their mind and she would be given her prize. The money was sent to her the next day through FedEx and it also included some official lottery items, such as a tote and pen, to make up for the inconvenience she had dealt with. 

Burgess had won the prize on July 29th in a Second Chance drawing. She had been listed as a winner on the lottery’s website and had received a phone call. However, as lottery offices were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she had to mail her ticket through certified mail to Tallahassee lottery headquarters. According to Second Chance drawing rules, winners have to claim their prizes within seven days of being notified of their winnings. Burgess could have put her ticket in a drop box at a local lottery office, but she chose certified mail as it appeared to be the quickest and safest option.

She was told by the lottery officials that her package hadn’t arrived and the postal service’s website showed that the package was at the Tallahassee post office and hadn’t been delivered. The postal service website showed that the package had been at the post office for almost six weeks. A lottery official said that it wasn’t clear why the post office’s tracking information was incorrect and why it had taken them so long to find the ticket in their deliveries. Burgess is just pleased that she finally got her $1,000 prize money because her car needs new tires. Burgess was grateful to Better Call Behnken for the assistance.

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