Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Florida Lotto is a lot o' trouble

I just mailed in my winning Florida Lottery Scratch-Off ticket! I would have redeemed it Saturday night before I left Florida, but when I tried, at two different gas stations, they told me that they were no longer able to redeem winning tickets for the day! Apparently, the places in Florida that sell tickets stop redeeming them at a certain time each night (different vendors having different stopping times), and then you have to wait until the next day! I've bought Scratch-Offs in Missouri for years, and I've NEVER heard of that before. Maybe it's just a Florida thing. So anyway, I was on my way out of Florida Saturday night, knowing that I wouldn't be back until...well...no telling when! So I saw on the back of the ticket that you can mail in winning tickets and get your winnings back through the mail. Well...see...what I won on my winning ticket (which cost me a dollar) was a free ticket! So I figured when I mailed it in, that they would send me another ticket. So anyway, I got home and checked Florida Lottery's website, and it said that they can't send unscratched tickets across state lines, and that instead, they send out the retail value of the ticket! If I had won money, they would send me a check for the amount I had won. But since all I won was a free ticket, they're going to send me the retail value of the ticket...which is a WHOLE DOLLAR! And it cost 37 cents to mail the thing! HAHAHAHAHA!!! How crazy is that? All because those damn gas stations don't redeem winning tickets after a certain time. Oh well...those gas stations are probably the same ones that make you pre-pay your gas when you don't know exactly how much it's going to cost to fill up your tank, thereby forcing you to make two trips inside: one to give them enough money that you know will fill up the tank, and the other to go back in and get your change.