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Florida Lottery admits error, winner collects two years later

Aug 26, 2019, 9:08 pm

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Includes video report

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A Florida man finally has his lottery prize after a local media investigation exposed a state error.

"I can't believe I have the money," Joel Strickland of Winter Haven said.

When Strickland won $1,000 in the lottery in 2017, state officials seized the money, saying he owed the state $5,300 to settle an old unemployment fraud claim.

Strickland insisted there was an error and that he didn't owe anything, but the state's case was closed. Officials not only took his lottery money, but said he owed the balance of this debt.

He says he was told that since this was old debt, they wouldn't have tried to collect it. However, when his name came up as a lottery winner, his name was checked and was on the state's list of debtors.

Strickland tried to fight for his money for a year, and after failing to get his money, he contacted a local media investigative column named "Better Call Behnken". The state told Investigative Reporter Shannon Behnken they would reopen his case, but there were denials, promises and more denials before his check finally arrived.

"I got in from work Friday evening and opened the mailbox and thought, 'Thank you, Jesus,'" he said.

VIDEO: Watch the report

fpFjhwRYo_4Florida Lottery admits error, winner collects two years laterA Florida man finally has his lottery prize after a local media investigation exposed a state error.PT02M30Shttps://img.youtube.com/vi/fpFjhwRYo_4/hqdefault.jpghttps://youtu.be/fpFjhwRYo_42019-08-26T21:02:00-05:00

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22 comments. Last comment 11 months ago by Stack47.
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TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
Brooklyn, NY
United States
Member #169719
October 29, 2015
1485 Posts
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Posted: August 27, 2019, 12:58 am - IP Logged

As long as he didn't owe the money, I guess you can say that....

Winners don't quit and quitters don't win! Banana

The Meatman 🥩🍗🍔🍖🍤🌭

“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

    Avatar
    Maryland
    United States
    Member #162429
    January 2, 2015
    2213 Posts
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    Posted: August 27, 2019, 4:45 am - IP Logged

    As long as he didn't owe the money, I guess you can say that....

    Winners don't quit and quitters don't win! Banana

    To me it reads this way -

    He owed the money, but they told him at some point before the win --

    "He says he was told that since this was old debt, they wouldn't have tried to collect it."

    so sounds like they wrote it off as a 'loss' but he did owe the money. 

      Avatar
      Chasing $ Millions.
      White Shores- California
      United States
      Member #136473
      December 12, 2012
      6277 Posts
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      Posted: August 27, 2019, 10:11 am - IP Logged

      To me it reads this way -

      He owed the money, but they told him at some point before the win --

      "He says he was told that since this was old debt, they wouldn't have tried to collect it."

      so sounds like they wrote it off as a 'loss' but he did owe the money. 

      ..Added to that is the possibility of Shannon reminding the FL lottery of the " number" they did to Bobbi Seagull. An all out attack against seniors, the very people that are playing the lottery religiously & keeping it afloat. There are times you have to reverse your decisions for the greater good.

       * Voice of Reason *   

       

      People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

        Raven62's avatar - binary
        25
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #17842
        June 28, 2005
        127630 Posts
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        Posted: August 27, 2019, 11:03 am - IP Logged

        To me it reads this way -

        He owed the money, but they told him at some point before the win --

        "He says he was told that since this was old debt, they wouldn't have tried to collect it."

        so sounds like they wrote it off as a 'loss' but he did owe the money. 

        Florida's Statute of Limitations for the Collection of Fines ($5000) for the Over Payment of Unemployment Benefits Due to Fraud is 5 years.

        A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

        Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

        Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

          music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157851
          August 2, 2014
          3927 Posts
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          Posted: August 27, 2019, 11:21 am - IP Logged

          Freedom of the Press!  Congratulations to Joel Strickland.

           "We are all in this together!" 

            Avatar
            Kentucky
            United States
            Member #32651
            February 14, 2006
            8934 Posts
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            Posted: August 27, 2019, 10:37 pm - IP Logged

            And why some players sell their winning tickets to "10 percentors".

              Avatar
              New Member
              Spring, Texas
              United States
              Member #179963
              February 14, 2017
              15 Posts
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              Posted: August 28, 2019, 12:05 am - IP Logged

              Is it just me, or does it appear that Florida's lottery and their state department find ways not to give people their money. Have you noticed that many of the Florida winners are supposedly wanted for criminal stuff? I wonder if they are deliberately letting criminals win, in an effort not to give out any money, and in that way, the state take their winnings. I mean its mind blowing that people like me, that plays the lottery faithful, like other people and never win, but these so-called criminals and people that owe money, keep winning?? Someone should look further into this.

                Avatar
                Chasing $ Millions.
                White Shores- California
                United States
                Member #136473
                December 12, 2012
                6277 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: August 28, 2019, 1:26 am - IP Logged

                Is it just me, or does it appear that Florida's lottery and their state department find ways not to give people their money. Have you noticed that many of the Florida winners are supposedly wanted for criminal stuff? I wonder if they are deliberately letting criminals win, in an effort not to give out any money, and in that way, the state take their winnings. I mean its mind blowing that people like me, that plays the lottery faithful, like other people and never win, but these so-called criminals and people that owe money, keep winning?? Someone should look further into this.

                How would FL or any State lottery for that matter " deliberately allow criminals to win? " What's the process in getting that off the ground? l am intrigued by new ideas- do tell.

                 * Voice of Reason *   

                 

                People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                  rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                  Texas
                  United States
                  Member #55887
                  October 23, 2007
                  10214 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: August 28, 2019, 9:38 am - IP Logged

                  Is it just me, or does it appear that Florida's lottery and their state department find ways not to give people their money. Have you noticed that many of the Florida winners are supposedly wanted for criminal stuff? I wonder if they are deliberately letting criminals win, in an effort not to give out any money, and in that way, the state take their winnings. I mean its mind blowing that people like me, that plays the lottery faithful, like other people and never win, but these so-called criminals and people that owe money, keep winning?? Someone should look further into this.

                  So....

                  If I read that correctly, a person walks into a store, and buys a lottery ticket.

                  The state says "There's a criminal, we'll let him win, then deny the money".

                  Exactly how does the state determine that an unknown person out of dozens or even hundreds of people that walk into a store is a criminal and "allow" that person to win? How does the state run a draw that allows that one criminal to win?

                  Crazy

                  CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

                  A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

                    Raven62's avatar - binary
                    25
                    New Jersey
                    United States
                    Member #17842
                    June 28, 2005
                    127630 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: August 28, 2019, 10:21 am - IP Logged

                    So....

                    If I read that correctly, a person walks into a store, and buys a lottery ticket.

                    The state says "There's a criminal, we'll let him win, then deny the money".

                    Exactly how does the state determine that an unknown person out of dozens or even hundreds of people that walk into a store is a criminal and "allow" that person to win? How does the state run a draw that allows that one criminal to win?

                    Crazy

                    Probability!

                    A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                    Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

                    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

                      Avatar
                      New Member
                      Spring, Texas
                      United States
                      Member #179963
                      February 14, 2017
                      15 Posts
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                      Posted: August 28, 2019, 4:26 pm - IP Logged

                      Cellphones, Technology, and Surveillance!!!

                      Trust me, they know more about us, our actions, our schedules, etc., by our cellphones. YES, I honestly believe they allow people to win, only to take them to jail and to keep the money.  There have been way too many "criminals", that have won the lottery in Florida. It is even surprising to me that most of them were even playing the lottery.  Anything is possible in this world. They are finding ways to "outsmart" us with our own smart phones. Plus, on another note, they say, "what goes around comes around", and there are really good people (like myself and you, that have worked hard and been good people all our lives), so you would think that we would win, right? Like Karma. However, just questionable that the good people are not winning, but "criminals", are winning, only to go to cash in their tickets, then get taken to jail, and/or told they owe money to the state.  I have my suspicion on if the lottery is random. Scratch off tickets may be random, but not the lottery.

                        cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

                        United States
                        Member #197033
                        March 28, 2019
                        538 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: August 28, 2019, 6:45 pm - IP Logged

                        Cellphones, Technology, and Surveillance!!!

                        Trust me, they know more about us, our actions, our schedules, etc., by our cellphones. YES, I honestly believe they allow people to win, only to take them to jail and to keep the money.  There have been way too many "criminals", that have won the lottery in Florida. It is even surprising to me that most of them were even playing the lottery.  Anything is possible in this world. They are finding ways to "outsmart" us with our own smart phones. Plus, on another note, they say, "what goes around comes around", and there are really good people (like myself and you, that have worked hard and been good people all our lives), so you would think that we would win, right? Like Karma. However, just questionable that the good people are not winning, but "criminals", are winning, only to go to cash in their tickets, then get taken to jail, and/or told they owe money to the state.  I have my suspicion on if the lottery is random. Scratch off tickets may be random, but not the lottery.

                        Yes, anything is possible, but it would be easier to believe this if you described how exactly the FL Lottery could track what numbers certain people are playing. In a cash transaction where ID is not required, how would the FL Lottery know that Pedro McCriminal chose 2-4-6-8-17 for some upcoming drawing? Convenience store cameras do not have that good of resolution. You gotta back this up with specifics, not vague grumblings about surveillance. 

                        ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

                          Raven62's avatar - binary
                          25
                          New Jersey
                          United States
                          Member #17842
                          June 28, 2005
                          127630 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: August 28, 2019, 7:10 pm - IP Logged

                          Yes, anything is possible, but it would be easier to believe this if you described how exactly the FL Lottery could track what numbers certain people are playing. In a cash transaction where ID is not required, how would the FL Lottery know that Pedro McCriminal chose 2-4-6-8-17 for some upcoming drawing? Convenience store cameras do not have that good of resolution. You gotta back this up with specifics, not vague grumblings about surveillance. 

                          They use the 4K Camera & Microphone on your Cell Phone not the Convenience Store Surveillance Camera.

                          A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                          Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

                          Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

                            cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

                            United States
                            Member #197033
                            March 28, 2019
                            538 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: August 28, 2019, 9:22 pm - IP Logged

                            They use the 4K Camera & Microphone on your Cell Phone not the Convenience Store Surveillance Camera.

                            Do people typically take photos of their lottery tickets after purchasing them? Not sure about this one.

                            Do people typically say their numbers aloud? Doubtful. In my observation people fill out their payslips in silence or mark the QP box and hand it to the cashier without talking too much. 

                             

                            This conspiracy theory needs work, but keep trying!

                            ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...