Lottery winner furious as she says she was ‘held hostage’ from her winnings
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A lottery winner said she ended up being denied her winnings over a little-known technicality.
However, one woman was left furious after bagging $1,000 (£789) on the lottery, only to be denied her winnings due to a little-known technicality.
Hilde McMillen was delighted when she found out that she had won $1,000 on the lottery in Florida. However, when she tried to collect her winnings she ran into an obstacle.
She said: "Oh my God, I was excited! At that time, yeah I needed the money."
However, Hilde, 82, became confused when her winnings didn't arrive in her account and when she chased up the winnings, she was told she would not be receiving them due to a little-known rule.
The rule means you can't collect lottery winnings if they have been overpaid for unemployment benefits. Unfortunately for Hilde, she fell into this category.
She said: "They told me they're not going to pay me. Because I had an overpayment on my unemployment. I say I can't believe that, I say, I paid that already.
"[It] took almost three hours to get [the DEO] and the lady was very nice, but she couldn't help us with nothing.
"They held me hostage from my own money. My $1,000 was sitting at the unemployment office and nobody did nothing."
Things went from absolutely delighted to feeling awful following the bad news. It might not have been the Euromillions, but the $1,000 would have made a big difference to Hilde.
Hilde was written to by the DEO, which said: "You were without fault in creating this overpayment and the department has determined that recovery would be contrary to equity and good conscience."
In other words, ultimately Hilde was able to claim her winnings. Not only that, but she even received back a $200 payment she had to make to the department.
She said: "So in other words, I didn't owe them nothing."
Hilde is not the only one to have encountered difficulties while trying to claim her lottery winnings. Sara Magnetta encountered a similar problem when she tried to claim her winnings.
She said: "Something that was so exciting became an absolute nightmare. I felt like this could hit home for a lot of people."
The DEO clarified in a statement that it has procedures in place to stop fraud, but admitted 'just because an overpayment is flagged in an account, it does not mean that an overpayment has occurred'.