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Florida Woman Wins $10K in Florida Lottery But Receives ‘Bad News’

A Florida woman is excited after her scratch off shows she is a $10K winning ticket. She goes to claim it and is notified that her “social has been flagged from the unemployment office.” This was not only a mistake, but this has happened to over 17,000 Floridians in the past two years.

A Jacksonville woman has been on a rollercoaster of emotions after winning a $10K scratch off ticket in the Florida lottery, but then informed that she could owe that money to the state of Florida for unemployment.

WJXT Channel 4 News reported on Friday that Sheila Magno $20 got cash back while shopping at Publix and used it to buy two scratch-off lottery ticket from the lottery machine.

Florida Woman Wins $10K in Florida Lottery But Receives 'Bad News'

Sheila Magno. Florida lottery winnerPhoto byWJXT News Channel 4

Later that night, she scratched them and found that one was a winning ticket for $10,000 and was so excited she was waiting for the lottery office opened the next day.

“I was really excited. Perfect timing before Christmas…I won $10,000. That’s the first time I’ve ever won more than 200 on a scratch-off.” -Sheila Magno, Florida Lottery winner

Sheila went to the lottery office the next day and filled out a paper and waited in the lobby.

“I went to the office and filled out a form with my information and she was like OK I’ll cut you a check, and I sat down,” Magno said. “About 15 minutes later, and another lady called me up and said ‘We’re sorry, your social has been flagged from unemployment.’” -Sheila Magno, Florida Lottery winner

When the lottery office ran her credentials, it came back that her social had been flagged by the Florida Department of Commerce for a “possible overpayment.” This happens as the state of Florida is attempting to recoup money people owe back to the state due to unemployment.

“It’s extremely unfair. That went from like, the best day in a long time to the absolute worst in a long time.” -Sheila Magno, Florida Lottery winner

Sheila said she had never received any notice that she owed money to the state, and that this was a mistake.

It turned out that Sheila was right, and the Florida Lottery will be paying her $10,000. They made a mistake in her case and it happens more often that you might think.

WJXT Channel 4 News reported that has happened to 17,637 people in the past two years in Florida.

Florida Dept. of Commerce Released a Statement

Florida Woman Wins $10K in Florida Lottery But Receives 'Bad News'

Florida Commerce statementPhoto byFlorida Dept. of Commerce

The Florida Dept. of Commerce released the following statement:

“While winning the lottery can be and many want to spend their winnings immediately, lottery winnings are garnished when a state debt of any kind is owed. Per Section 24.115(4), Florida Statutes the State of Florida appropriately withholds money from Florida lottery winners who owe any state debt, including Reemployment Assistance Overpayments. If this happens to a lottery winner, FloridaCommerce works with the claimant to resolve the issue as quickly as possible so that they can enjoy the lottery funds they were lucky enough to win.

It is important to note, proactive notifications are sent to all claimants with outstanding issues resulting in overpayments via the claimants’ preferred communication method. Overpayments remain on an account until the overpayment is resolved or a waiver is submitted.

Reemployment Assistance claimants are strongly encouraged to check their Reemployment Assistance accounts regularly, keep their contact information updated, and take action on their claim(s) when prompted.

Keep in mind that if a Floridian received unemployment benefits that they weren’t supposed to, a Florida employer could be paying a higher tax rate as well. It is important that anyone who has received Reemployment Assistance or who has filled out paperwork to receive assistance, is monitoring their account. Otherwise, an employer is being punished until the individual works with us to resolve the matter.” -FL Dept. of Commerce

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