Florida Lottery did receive the ticket after all; USPS tracking still shows undelivered
By Kate Northrop
Every lottery player's worst nightmare came true for a Florida woman whose ticket was supposedly lost in the mail by the United States Postal Service over a month ago. After telling her she would have to forfeit her $1,000 prize and then awarding it to another player, the Florida Lottery looked again and discovered the winning ticket was in their possession after all.
Sue Burgess, 62, won in a Second Chance drawing back in July and decided to send her winning ticket through USPS certified mail. Weeks went by without a word that the Lottery had received the ticket, prompting her to check the package's tracking. She was shocked to learn that it never made it to Lottery headquarters and was even more devastated when the Lottery told her repeatedly "no ticket, no prize," citing that they were not responsible for any mistakes made by the U.S. Postal Service.
"I was horrified to find out that the lottery commission had never received my ticket," Burgess recalled. "After I had to pick myself up off the floor, I learned the ticket was still in transit."
Her story received national attention and likely stirred action from the Lottery, who called Burgess on Wednesday to tell her that they found the lost ticket in their mail deliveries despite USPS tracking information showing that it was never delivered. She would finally get her $1,000 prize.
The next day, Burgess received a FedEx package containing a check for the winnings along with a few gifts to make it up to her, including an official Lottery pen and tote.
"I'm just thrilled to death that the lottery commission sent me the check," Burgess said yesterday.
According to a Lottery official, it wasn't exactly known why it took so long to find the missing ticket in their mail deliveries or why USPS tracking information was inaccurate.
"Now we have a happy ending," Burgess said, relieved. "That car out there needs tires, so we're going tire shopping!"