Lottery scratchcard winner ended up losing

March 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Lottery News

An Arizona woman who thought she had won $1,000 playing a lottery scratchcard was left feeling desperately unhappy as opposed to jumping for joy as the lottery scratchcard winner ended up losing. Sheri Galvez, from Arizona went to collect her lottery winnings but instead of leaving with her cash she was given a cheque for $0.00 and was told that the money was reclaimed by the state to pay for unsettled traffic tickets and to recover overpaid unemployment benefits.

After realising that she had won $1,000, Galvez immediately drove to the collect her lottery winnings from the Arizona Lottery office but once she had filled out her lottery claim form she was left waiting for her money. After a short while a lottery official returned and handed her a cheque for $0.00 along with a bundle of paperwork. The shocked lottery winner demanded to know why she had no cash to collect and was informed that as she owed money to the state her lottery winnings had been used to recover these debts.

Lottery winner, Galvez was distraught. She cried and then claimed that the state didn’t have the right to do such a thing but this is not the case. Arizona Revised Statute 5-523 allows the state lottery to assist other agencies in collecting debts owed to the state.

If this same practice was adopted here in the UK it could well lead to big reductions in debts owed to the UK Government. This principle could allow the Department of Work and Pensions to and other government agencies to use the National Lottery to reclaim outstanding monies from people who have been overpaid benefits, owe money for court fines or even, as in Miss Galvez’s case, reclaim money for unpaid traffic offenses.

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