A Powerball Lottery player turned to Better Call Harry for help. She hit five out of six numbers for a $50,000 payout. So what’s the problem?
She didn’t pick up the check right away, and after she got it, she had a stroke. By the time she made the deposit, the check had expired, and her subsequent efforts in getting a reissued check went nowhere.
See what happened after Harry got involved.
Read the full statement from the Georgia Lottery here:
"Ms. Hightower won a $50,000 Powerball prize in September 2017, and her daughter came forward with the ticket in February 2018.
As a result of when and how Ms. Hightower’s ticket was presented - by her daughter (not her), with conflicting stories from Ms. Hightower and her daughter, and as the ticket was about to expire - we had to investigate the claim. While we don’t provide details on our investigations for security reasons, this is standard procedure. After the investigation process, Ms. Hightower was issued a check for her prize in March 2018.
When Ms. Hightower came to us again 10 months later in January 2019, asking us to reissue the check, it raised red flags. It is very unusual for someone to not cash a $50,000 check for 10 months and risk losing it.
We had to stop payment on the original check she was issued, which takes at least two weeks or longer. (Since checks can be deposited electronically with a photo of the check, we are required to let enough time pass to ensure that the check has not been previously deposited.)
Additionally, because of the suspicious nature surrounding her earlier claim and then her reissuance request 10 months after issuing the first check, we had to launch another investigation, which does take time. All Georgia Lottery profits benefit HOPE and Pre-K. It is incumbent upon us to protect those dollars from fraud, and we have to be diligent in our investigations and reviews.
Our investigations team found nothing wrong, and last week, the Georgia Lottery’s general counsel authorized the reissuing of Ms. Hightower’s check.
In the past week, our prize validation team has moved forward with their efforts to reissue the check. When you contacted us today, they had already reached out to her and were still waiting on her to answer tax questions because her prize was reportable for 2018, not the reissuance year of 2019. They also needed to explain to her that she would receive two checks for her total prize amount of $50,004 - one check for $50,000 and a separate check for $4 (since the $4 prize is not taxable). Additionally, she needed to let them know if she wanted to pick up the check or receive it via mail. Once Ms. Hightower provides this information, her check will be reissued, possibly as soon as today."