Florida Lottery will not honor misprint scratch-off jackpot ticket
This is WRONG ... VERY Wrong ...

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Originally Posted: July 31, 2005

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Florida Lottery will not honor misprint scratch-off jackpot ticket
July 29, 2005

She thought she won $250,000 in the lottery, but the lottery said it's not paying. The lottery said what appeared to be a winning ticket was a misprint.

Tina Coley buys her scratch off tickets at the same store every week. She said she almost had a heart attack when she matched a number for a quarter of a million dollars. But the Florida Lottery said the ticket is a misprint and Coley's only entitled to $20.

Coley and her family raise German Shepherds. They have enough puppies to keep them smiling, despite a weeks-long roller coaster ride.

Coley bought a ticket at the Sunoco Food Mart just outside Oviedo and scratched it at a stoplight.

"I'm sitting at the light and I scratched the ticket and realize that the two matched the two on the ticket and it was worth $250,000. My hands started shaking. I couldn't drive. The people behind me were tooting their horns," Coley explained.

"They said it's a misprint. They misprinted the ticket and they say it's not their responsibility to pay me any of the money," Coley said.

In fact, they put it in writing with a letter to Coley saying, "There is a printing defect which could make the 22 appear as a 2." They said, no dice, and offered her $300-worth of lottery tickets for her trouble.

"Whether they misprinted it or correctly printed it, it's not my fault that they didn't print the ticket properly and, as far as I was concerned, I won $250,000.

Friday, the Lottery issued a statement saying they print 500-million tickets a year and that "the very nature of any mechanical printing process can never guarantee 100% accuracy."

They said, under the number two, a partial printing of an abbreviation for 22 appears, so the lottery decided the mistake should play out in their own favor.

"I think God has a really strange sense of humor, to give you $250,000 and take it away in the next breath," Coley said.

Lottery officials originally told Coley she could have her winning ticket back, but now that they've said 'Sorry, Charlie,' they decided they'd keep the questionable ticket.

The same thing happened in Texas with the Set For Life tickets. Fortunately the players checked their own tickets and knew what they had coming. The players also made the TLC pay them the face value of the ticket. The TLC, however, made Scientific Games pay the players. The bad news was that the TLC continued to sell the tickets for 6 weeks with known errors. There's no telling how many players lost on this deal.

The Florida player should SUE - she bought the ticket in good faith, scratched the ticket in good faith and it's clearly not her fault that the ticket was a misprint. Now is it? If this happened in the private sector, we all know that we'd have to honor it's face value.

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