The Florida Lottery may pay your scratch-off in a year...or two!!!
written by wilfredo dominguez
The woman on the other side of the line at the Florida Lottery main office in Tallahassee says they have finally figured it out. Good news, she says, they will pay me. I should be happy and thankful?! Everything has worked out and my $5 scratch-off will be paid.
Not so fast, though. I will get my money only after the scratch-off series expires. It could be in a year. Or, two? Who knows?...The Florida Lottery representative says!
A few minutes prior to the good news about my money, I'd called the Florida Lottery office myself. The representative on the other side of the line transferred my call to the Claiming's Department. An agent at said department told me my notarized affidavit of security had been received last Friday. A supervisor would check it. Please, call back next Friday. Next thing I know, I am on the first call above.
The Florida Lottery seems to be working hard??? to pay my $1000 winning ticket, maybe?!
It all started back in mid-November 2020. That day, I walked into the Bangla Town store in Homestead, Florida, and purchased a $5 20X scratch-off. Wow! A $1000 winning ticket! The clerk / owner of the store scanned the ticket, took the print-out out of the Lottery machine and, guess what, shi...t hit the fan! The clumsy retailer ripped off the scratch-off and dumped it in the trash!!! Have you ever seen a Cuban cursing? Well, that was me that day!
I collected the scratch-off pieces and went home. I carefully put the ticket together, taped it and signed the back of it. Next morning, I drove down to the post office and mailed all the information required by the Florida Lottery (scratch-off, print-out form from the Lottery machine at the store, and the claim form) to the District Office in Miami Lakes. I mailed it next day with all security guarantees offered by the postal worker. $25 all in all....
Two days later, on November the 17th, I received a call from the Miami Lakes District Office of the Florida Lottery. They couldn't guess a pin because of the tape. My scratch-off was on its way to the main office in Tallahassee. It would take a little bit longer but I shouldn't worry. I will get paid.
Welcome to the misinformation line of the Florida Lottery main office.
It took me quite a while and countless phone calls before I found out that almost a month passed for my ticket to arrive in Tallahassee. It made it there December the 10th...or the 7th. It all depends who you talk to. A few more extra calls and I found out my ticket had to go through security. More calls and I discovered the goddamn ticket is going through forensics. More calls and I don't know nothing yet because the officer in charge won't be back until Monday. She will call me, they said. Well, she didn't....
More calls and some heavy American style bitching criticism of the business model and the way the Florida Lottery makes its customers pay for an error made by its reseller and, holy cow, the security officer in charge is on the line! She tells me about the forensics fairy tale and reassures me everything is gonna be ok and I will get paid as soon as she gets the results from forensics. Only thing I needed to do was to email her a notarized security affidavit for which I paid an extra $10....
More calls and, guess what, the representative talks too much and I discovered that the officer in charge also takes care of forensics!!!!! More calls and the whatever-in-charge officer is on the phone again. Good news! She's finished the investigation and now it is time for a supervisor to validate her work. Then, I will get paid. ...
More calls and my scratch off is still chatting with the supervisor, I guess. But, wait, the officer in charge calls me. I need to send the original affidavit or I won't get paid. I don't have to spend any money. Don't certify it. Use regular mail.....
Really??? Are you serious??? With all this noise and you want me to use regular mail? I can't wait for the ..."well, it looks like the affidavit got lost in the mail... Can you notarize another one?"
You nailed it. I certified the goddamn envelope, tracking included. Another $15 gone!
A couple of days later, USPS confirmed delivery. I waited till next day and called. Surprise! Nobody knows where the envelope is at. Maybe, tomorrow!?
Tomorrow came, but claiming had nothing yet.
No doubt, my scratch off was still quietly wandering around deep inside the pitch black cave of security and forensics And, then, last week happened. The security officer in charge calls and now she is really really done working on my file. I will get paid in 7 to 10 business days. Yohoo!!!
No need to tell you, at this point, I don't believe a single word the representatives of the Florida Lottery say. Yet, I decided to call again today, January 28th, and....I should be happy because I will get paid in a year or two!!!