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Woman told to forfeit Second Chance Lottery prize after USPS loses certified mail with ticket inside

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RIDGE MANOR, Fla. (WFLA) — Sue Burgess was overjoyed to learn last month that she won $1,000 in a Second Chance Lottery drawing. But that joy quickly disappeared when, weeks later, the Florida Lottery informed her she’ll have to forfeit the prize and her winnings will go to an alternate winner.

That’s because the U.S. Postal Service did not deliver the ticket to lottery headquarters in Tallahassee, even though Burgess sent the package through certified mail.

A Second Chance Lottery winner has a limited window of time in which to turn in a ticket to claim winnings. Because of the pandemic, all local lottery offices were closed after Burgess won on July 29.

To claim her prize, Burgess followed the Florida Lottery’s instructions and sent in her ticket through certified mail through the U.S. Postal Service. She could have also dropped the ticket in a dropbox at a local office, but she felt certified mail would be safer.

Tracking information shows the ticket arrived at 7:12 a.m. on Aug. 12 at a Tallahassee post office, but the journey ended there. The online postal service tracking shows the ticket was never delivered to the lottery office, as required to claim a prize.

“They said, ‘No ticket, no prize,’” Burgess recalls being told when she called to inquire about the missing ticket.

Unlike other lottery games, the Florida Lottery has records of all Second Chance winners because players register their tickets and contact information. Burgess was notified that she was a winner after a lottery employee called her.

Typically, lotto winners of more than $600 can submit winning tickets in person at their local lottery office. But that was pre-COVID-19. Burgess says she was told she could send the ticket via certified mail or leave the ticket in a dropbox at a local lottery office.

Burgess said there was a one-week timeframe to submit the ticket, but she missed an email about being a winner, and by the time the office called her, she had only days to get the ticket postmarked, so she chose certified mail.

“That’s why you choose certified mail,” Burgess said. “With COVID, I understand the mail is a little bit slow. But for safety sake, certified mail usually has priority.”

A spokesperson for the Florida Lottery emailed that the “Burgess’ claim was never received by the Florida Lottery.” The email cited the tracking information found on the postal service showing the package is still “in transit, so it was not delivered.”

The claims processing department urged Burgess to contact USPS for more information on what happened to her package. A postal service spokesman says the post office is investigating but does not yet know what happened to the package.

The Postal Service sent this statement:

The Postal Service strives to always provide the best possible service to our customers.  We apologize to this specific customer for any inconvenience they may have experienced.  In this specific instance, we are continuing to work with the lottery office to confirm receipt of the mailpiece. 

A spokeswoman for the Florida Lottery said this is an unusual situation and agreed to bend a little, saying the lottery is not responsible for mistakes made by the postal service, but if this package shows up postmarked by the original deadline, the lottery will pay Burgess her $1,000.

Burgess worries that will never happen since it has already been six weeks since the package arrived at the Tallahassee post office.

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SpaceX Starship rocket explodes in fireball just after landing in dramatic footage

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It is the third SpaceX Starship to blow up after landing – but billionaire founder Elon Musk didn’t let it faze him – tweeting ‘RIP SN10’ as his work went up in a fireball

Elon Musk’s latest SpaceX Starship rocket experiment has once again ended up in flames.
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The Earth’s deepest secret was just revealed by scientists

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The research into what lies deep, deep beneath our feet has yielded precious few details over the past few decades. We all grew up learning that we live on the Earth’s crust, which is just a thin layer above the mantle. Beneath that, the outer core surrounds the inner core, and… well, that’s it, or so we thought. Now, scientists have offered us an update to this model, and they believe the discovery may be concrete enough to warrant the rewriting of textbooks.

In a new paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, a small team of scientists says that the most widely accepted model of the interior of the Earth doesn’t necessarily jive with the data that is available. In its place, the researchers propose a new model that includes a new layer within the inner core, and they say that, based on the data, it may be evidence of a “traumatic event” somewhere in Earth’s history.

The new layer the researchers are said to have confirmed is distinct from the inner core and would represent a new “central inner core,” for lack of a better term. To do this, the team collected a massive amount of data from seismic events over decades, then tested them against models of the Earth’s interior. What they found was that the notion of a new core layer was the best way to match the data with a model.

“Traditionally we’ve been taught the Earth has four main layers: the crust, the mantle, the outer core and the inner core,” Joanne Stephenson, lead author of the work, said in a statement. “The idea of another distinct layer was proposed a couple of decades ago, but the data has been very unclear. We got around this by using a very clever search algorithm to trawl through thousands of the models of the inner core.”

How exactly this newly-identified layer formed is anyone’s guess, but it may point to a more complex story of early Earth formation than was previously accepted.

“We found evidence that may indicate a change in the structure of iron, which suggests perhaps two separate cooling events in Earth’s history. The details of this big event are still a bit of a mystery, but we’ve added another piece of the puzzle when it comes to our knowledge of the Earths’ inner core.”

The discovery of a new core layer may not change much when it comes to our daily lives, but it’s a big step toward better understanding how our planets and others like it form. If we hope to have a solid understanding of the nature of planets, figuring out what is hiding deep within them is a prerequisite and a pretty big one.

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Bodies of 11 Infants Found in Ceiling of Funeral Home May Have Been Hidden Because Parents Couldn’t Pay

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On Friday, Michigan state investigators received an “anonymous letter” directing them to a Detroit funeral home that closed in April for “deplorable, unsanitary conditions.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, investigators entered the Cantrell Funeral Home with permission from the new owner, who was in the process of converting it to a community center, Detroit Police Lt. Brian Bowser said.

There, they located the bodies of 11 infants and “stillborns” hidden inside a “drop-down ceiling” between the first and second floor of the building.

Nine of the bodies were located hidden inside a box, and two were found inside a garbage bag in a small casket, Bowser confirmed at a press conference.

Police have not confirmed the identities of the infants or why they were hidden in the ceiling. The bodies were badly decomposed; some were “mummified,” and others were “embalmed.”

In April, the funeral home was shut down over unsanitary conditions after inspectors found bodies that had been left to mold and decay.

Owner Raymond Cantrell II admitted he kept bodies when the families couldn’t pay. At the time, he told WJBK:

“Those who have asked me to hold their loved ones will know I was doing them a favor to accommodate them. For those that weren’t, like the many of the cremated they are trying to take from here or that they are taking from here. Those individuals we called we’ve tried to notify and they haven’t been picked up.”

Police have not confirmed that’s why the infants were kept. But Pastor William C. Curtis, who owns three Detroit funeral homes, said that could be the case.

He told the Detroit News:

“A lot of times the family don’t pay and you have to take them to court. There is no recourse, but holding a body isn’t justifiable. It’s not like repossessing a car, you can’t give the body back.”

Cantrell took over the funeral home from his father in 2017. Curtis said they “used to get a lot of business.”

The medical examiner’s office is currently working to identify all the infants and reunite them with their families, it said in a statement.

Cantrell is not facing charges in relation to the discovery at this time.

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