Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A Florida woman who was initially denied a $1,000 lottery prize when her ticket was believed to be lost in the mail was finally awarded her winnings by lottery officials.
Sue Burgess of Ridge Manor, Hernando County, won a Second Chance drawing with what was initially a losing ticket July 29, and due to COVID-19 restrictions she was instructed to mail her ticket to Florida Lottery headquarters.
Burgess sent the ticket via certified mail so she could track its trip to Tallahassee, but the tracking system said the ticket was in transit -- and it remained that way for weeks.
"I was horrified to find out that the lottery commission had never received my ticket," Burgess told the New York Post. "After I had to pick myself up off the floor, I learned the ticket was still in transit."
Lottery officials told her that the prize was being forfeited and given to a second-place winner because the ticket did not arrive at the office with a postmark proving it was mailed within seven days of her being notified that she had won.
Burgess turned to WFLA-TV for help, and lottery officials conducted an additional investigation and discovered the ticket was indeed in their possession. A lottery official told the TV station they did not know why the ticket's postal tracking information was incorrect or why it took so long to find the ticket.
Burgess said a FedEx delivery arrived at her home this week with her check for $1,000.