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A Colorado Lottery player lost all his winnings after he missed the deadline of his Powerball lottery claim by just three days.
Peter Bayley, the unfortunate lottery player, bought the Powerball draw ticket this Spring and bagged $1500, using his lucky lottery numbers. He was thrilled to learn about his win, as he was in desperate need of money to fund a trip with his wife.
But the Colorado Lottery had to shut its offices by the end of March to curb the spread of COVID-19. Normally, the lottery allows the players to claim their winning tickets within six months. But in lieu of the pandemic conditions, the lottery had also put a 30-day claim extension for those who bought a ticket between April 6 and April 30.
Those who did not want to wait long for claiming their prize, they could opt for alternative claiming methods such as mailing the winning tickets. However, according to Bayley, he was one of those many players who preferred to wait for the claim centers to reopen rather than sending in their claims through certified mail due to the fear of it getting lost in the mail.
Unfortunately, Bayley waited too long for the lottery claiming and missed the deadline by just three days. To which Bayley admitted that it was completely his mistake.
Bayley thought that the Colorado Lottery would alter the rules for him and consider the extension of three days. But the Colorado Lottery was unwilling to change the rules for anyone and abided by strict guidelines mandated by the state with no exceptions.
According to Meghan Dougherty, Colorado Lottery Communications Manager, "It's really important that we keep to the rules. Otherwise, everybody would want to potentially change the rules." Dougherty advised all the prospective lottery winners to view the lottery guidelines with the official deadlines to avoid any such circumstances.
While Bayley lost his $1,500 lottery winnings, it was a complete win-win for the state programs. Because, unclaimed lottery winnings are sent to a variety of state organizations, programs, and agencies heavily emphasizing conservation such as Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Department of Education, etc.
Bayley urges lottery players to avoid putting themselves in his shoes and have a diligent watch over lottery guidelines as well as claiming deadlines, though he is pleased that his lottery winnings will serve the community.
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