Florida mechanic wins $10K but state claimed he owes them money trends now
An unemployed mechanic in Florida scooped a $10,000 jackpot on a scratch-off lottery ticket only to be left empty handed when the state stripped him of the winnings, claiming he actually owed them thousands of dollars.
Joe Cheung was told The Department of Economic Opportunity was keeping his winnings because he had been overpaid when he received unemployment assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cheung had a debt balance of $7,800, but said he'd applied for forgiveness and even had proof the overpayments had been waived.
Yet it took Cheung months to resolve the ordeal with the department, and it is only now with the help of Local 10 News that he is finally getting his winnings.
Joe Cheung, an unemployed mechanic in Florida won $10,000 on a scratch-off ticket, but the state claimed he owed money that he was overpaid in COVID-19 assistance funds
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Cheung said he was in disbelief when he scanned his ticket and discovered he'd won. He received a message congratulating him and directed him to the lottery office to claim his cash
Cheung made calls and left voicemails between December until the beginning of February, trying to get an answer about his winnings.
'I called, I left six voicemails, no response, and then the next thing I call again, you hold for four hours and then the line gets cut off,' he told Local 10 News.
But when Local 10 News took up his case and contacted the Department of Economic Opportunity, he received a phone call just a few days later to say it had all been straightened out.
'They said there was an error and they said it would take four-to-six weeks to get the check back,' he said. 'She said it was an error.'
It's an enormous relief for Cheung who has been waiting months for the winnings. He said he was in disbelief when he scanned his ticket and discovered he'd won. He received a message congratulating him and directed him to