Man wins $40K but misses deadline |

Man wins $40K but misses deadline

Post Independent/Kelley Cox

RIFLE – Bob Clements of Rifle was unlucky when he discovered he had cancer in December 2004. His luck changed when he bought a winning lottery ticket in April 2005.But then his luck turned bad again. Clements, 48, a single father with a 4-year-old son, was being treated for his cancer and had just started on heavy medication at the time he bought a lottery scratch ticket through the Colorado Lottery.”The medication made me confused,” Clements said. “I couldn’t concentrate – I couldn’t add or subtract. I had scratched it, but I couldn’t understand it, so I put it aside in the top drawer of my computer desk with four or five others. I figured I’d check them when I could think.”

He said the lottery ticket turned out to be a $40,000 winner.But by the time he was off the medication and his head had cleared, the 180-day deadline to turn in the winning ticket had already passed.The game Clements had played ended on June 19, 2005. The deadline to claim the winning ticket was Dec. 19, 2005. Clements discovered it was a winner in February 2006.When he tried to turn the winning ticket in, he was informed that it was indeed a winner, but was rejected because it had expired.

The Colorado Lottery Commission stood by their 180-day deadline.”It’s too bad, and we’re not trying to be mean and hard-hearted – not by a long shot,” Diane Reimer, public information officer for the Department of Revenue told the Post Independent. “But (the 180-day rule) is the law. And we’ve never seen the ticket.”Clements went to a local attorney who initially agreed to take on the case. That was, until Clements contacted the National Enquirer, which paid a small amount for his story.The attorney subsequently withdrew from the case.

“I contacted the press because I wanted to tell my story,” Clements said. “I do need a lawyer, and I wanted to get my story out. “His story was published in Monday’s edition of the National Enquirer, including a cut-out coupon for readers to petition the director of the Colorado Lottery in Pueblo asking that Clements be paid his money.Reimer said she didn’t believe the coupon would make a difference.”I can’t speak for the whole department, but I have a hard time thinking there would be a change,” Reimer said. “It’s still the law.”

Clements said he would have used the money to take his son, Michael, to the beach in San Diego, to SeaWorld or the San Diego Zoo.”I know my health ain’t good,” he said. “I would’ve paid some bills, and it would have let me take my son and show him some things.”Clements is still searching for an attorney to represent him and feels he has a rightful claim to the money.”I feel I’m entitled to it,” he said. “It wasn’t (the lottery’s) fault, and it wasn’t my fault.”

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