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Woman claims Publix cashier threw away winning lotto ticket

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Woman claims Publix cashier threw away winning lotto ticket

BARTOW, Fla. — Annie Collier loves to play the lottery. She has a ritual of buying tickets each week and playing certain numbers.

Occasionally, she'll hit.

Last Thursday, Annie's lotto tickets were piled in her purse. She bought them earlier in the week and didn't even pay attention to what the numbers were.

Talk about lucky!

On Valentine's Day, Annie love for lotto paid off big. She won $800.

Annie's son called to share the good news. "My son had called me and told me, 'Mom, you know that 3131 came', and I said, 'Uh uh, you joking'. He said, 'Yes it did, I'm looking at the print out right now,'" Annie said.

Annie couldn't wait to get to her favorite Publix store in Bartow to collect her winnings. When she went to the lotto clerk, Annie handed her the ticket.

Since she won more than $600, Annie was told she would now have to drive to Tampa to get the money. So, Monday afternoon, Annie went to the lottery office.

She got some bad news.

The ticket she had was only a receipt. It wasn't the original winning ticket. She thought the clerk had given her the original ticket, but it was actually a continuation ticket. In addition, she was given a receipt showing that she had won.

But, the lottery officials wanted the original and she didn't have it.

Annie said, "I said, 'What, just like that?' You know, I was shocked that wasn't the ticket. I left there and came back to Publix."

Annie claims when she went back to Publix, they gave her even more bad news. They told her a cashier accidentally threw the ticket away.

Annie's niece, Contina Williams, said, "The manager came out and said there's nothing they can do because they're not liable. But if it was his cashier that just didn't give the ticket back, that makes them liable."

We spoke with Publix officials who issued this statement, "Our loss prevention unit is looking into the matter as to what happened with the lottery ticket. Once we have the results of our investigation, we will handle the situation."

Annie says she's disappointed with what she calls "bad treatment" by Publix management. She says the store manager told her never to come into his store again when she asked him for the cashier's name who threw away her lottery ticket.

Annie says she'll keep playing lottery, but she's not sure she'll go back to this Publix again.

Thanks to BobP for the tip.

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43 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by NYSlugger 777.
Page 1 of 3

United States
Member #58528
February 18, 2008
710 Posts
Posted: February 19, 2009, 12:41 pm - IP Logged

That sucks!

    GamerMom's avatar - tails

    United States
    Member #60535
    April 21, 2008
    460 Posts
    Posted: February 19, 2009, 12:52 pm - IP Logged

    precicely why you should educate yourself on any game you play, even the lottery.  If she played the lottery so much she should have read the rules about winning tickets over a certain amount.  She could have saved herself the trouble of going to Publix.

      konane's avatar - wallace
      Atlanta, GA
      United States
      Member #1265
      March 13, 2003
      3680 Posts
      Posted: February 19, 2009, 1:14 pm - IP Logged

      Many Publix have a small terminal where you can check tickets yourself .... might have been easier if she'd used it if it was available.  If she knew it was a winner she could have requested a photo copy of the ticket (for taxes) at the customer service counter where tickets are purchased.  Also she should have signed the back of the ticket if she knew it was a winner.

      In the future she could use a yellow highlighter on the top edge of the ticket to make sure it doesn't get set aside.  

      Good luck to everyone!

        duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
        Jacksonville Florida
        United States
        Member #23018
        October 6, 2005
        960 Posts
        Posted: February 19, 2009, 1:32 pm - IP Logged

        She will get the money eventually. With the ticket receipt and continuation ticket, the lottery dept. can confirm it is a valid claim. At worst, she will have to wait until the 180 days to claim timeframe is up. After that, if no one else claims the money for that ticket her claim will be honored. Even though the actual ticket is a bearer instrument "required" for payment, there are exceptions...

          GamerMom's avatar - tails

          United States
          Member #60535
          April 21, 2008
          460 Posts
          Posted: February 19, 2009, 1:40 pm - IP Logged

          anyone else would have to be a straight up moron to try to cash that ticket after the press it has been given.


            United States
            Member #54390
            August 17, 2007
            313 Posts
            Posted: February 19, 2009, 1:41 pm - IP Logged

            I don't blame Publix, I blame her irresponsibility.  That's like one of lottery's common sense; if you have the winning ticket, you need it for proof.

              United States
              Member #23835
              October 16, 2005
              3613 Posts
              Posted: February 19, 2009, 2:21 pm - IP Logged

              anyone else would have to be a straight up moron to try to cash that ticket after the press it has been given.

              While possible, I doubt that it's anything more than an honest mistake, since the woman was given the receipt and continuation ticket. That would mean nobody has stolen the ticket with an intent to cash it, but somebody could potentially find it in the trash. Since it's not the only winning ticket, how would anyone else know it's the same ticket? Though the article didn't say, the lottery has presumably listed the ticket as paid so that it can be recovered if somebody does try to cash it. As duckman says, she should see the money eventually.

                charmed7's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
                United States
                Member #65282
                September 22, 2008
                2023 Posts
                Posted: February 19, 2009, 2:42 pm - IP Logged

                What's a continuation ticket?  They don't give those  out in MI.  U would

                just b up S--t creek without a paddle.  Broke and disgusted

                 Road Rage 

                  ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
                  United States
                  Member #56506
                  November 21, 2007
                  6537 Posts
                  Posted: February 19, 2009, 2:43 pm - IP Logged

                  Well that sucks for her. That's a hard and costly lesson to learn. Always, get your ticket back if win more then the store is able to cash. Plus, one should check their own numbers to see how much they won. I hope that the reciept that she received will be enough for her to get her winnings if the investigation finds out that she really did have a winning ticket.

                  "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

                    TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
                    A long and winding road
                    United States
                    Member #17084
                    June 10, 2005
                    4904 Posts
                    Posted: February 19, 2009, 2:45 pm - IP Logged

                    I don't blame Publix, I blame her irresponsibility.  That's like one of lottery's common sense; if you have the winning ticket, you need it for proof.

                    Smoothjuice- You might want to re-consider reading the entire article. The lady HAD the ticket. It was the clerk who kept it , tossed it or misplaced it. Once the lady turned the ticket over, short of her jumping the counter for it back, it was the clerks duty to return it.


                    For Publix's to ban the lady for speaking up on a matter is extremely poor customer service and BAD publicity.

                    ~~It often seems impossible, til it's done.

                      x1kosmic's avatar - neptune vg2.gif

                      United States
                      Member #48046
                      December 7, 2006
                      1699 Posts
                      Posted: February 19, 2009, 2:47 pm - IP Logged

                        While I agree everybody on LP is going to lecture her about being more responsible, with her lottery playing, and ticket keeping up with,

                           Mabey the Manager found it in the trash, and he was very rude with, "Don't ever come in this store again".

                                  I'd probably be in Jail if he said that to me,     .......ala a little gasoline down the 'ole, ventalation duct in the middle of the night.       

                                   She's right to avoid that store in the future I guess.

                        dopey7719's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
                        Midlands, SC
                        United States
                        Member #69698
                        January 14, 2009
                        303 Posts
                        Posted: February 19, 2009, 4:26 pm - IP Logged

                        These young clerks don't care...most of the time they don't even want to be bothered with your lottery ticket.  That lady should write a letter to Publix's headquarters.....no....she should just get an attorney and sue for emotional distress, etc.  I'll bet they'll investigate a lot sooner then.  All they have to do is give her the money for the ticket that THEY threw away.

                          Kaptainess's avatar - hiro bird.jpg

                          United States
                          Member #63356
                          July 26, 2008
                          1427 Posts
                          Posted: February 19, 2009, 4:46 pm - IP Logged

                          I[m with you Dopey!  I had a hunch that one of my numbers was coming straight and put on my ticket the straight version as well - I remember the number too - 681 - I gave the slip to the clerk and he didn't put it in - I fault myself because I should have checked behind this Joker.  I lost 500. that day and it taught me a lesson. 

                          CHECK YOUR TICKETS


                          And if they are not paying attention to your slip I would find someplace else to play or complain to the management. 

                          YOU are making a purchase just like those that are buying a bag of chips or gas and should demand the same respect.

                          I can't wait for them to make more self serve machines and make them easier to use.  As it is now its a pain to use the self serve machines with it going back to the menu and not letting you say with the pick 3.

                          I have one place near me that takes lotteries seriously, and they have two machines going all the time, its a mess parking there, but they are friendly, attentive and make sure your tickets are right.  Once I played a number there and Mike (Oh my God this MAN is a hunk!) gave me two tickets on that number - straight - and it came out.  They also give you promotional tickets that the Lottery Commission gives them that are suppose to go to customers, and this is the ONLY place I have ever played that gives those tickets out FREE.   I do get a little mixed up with Mike there, but its the only place to play.  If I run short of cash I can come back later and pay and they don't hold your tickets for ransom.

                            New Member
                            New York NY
                            United States
                            Member #71148
                            February 19, 2009
                            1 Posts
                            Posted: February 19, 2009, 6:01 pm - IP Logged

                            Never leave the ticket out of your hands.   It is like cash.   It's hard to get it back or proof that it was yours after you lose it.   What is with the recipt anyway, seems like an dumb and unnecessary step.