Titusville waitress loses lotto prize due to DEO “overpaid”

Read Time:2 Minute, 34 Second

Titusville, Florida – Lang Vo’s “The Fastest Way to US$1 Million” lottery cash prize disappeared when you said “Happy Birthday!” Thanks to an unresolved issue of overpayment by the Ministry of Economic Opportunity.

“This is a lot of money for me,” the waitress in Titusville told News 6. “I think they just entered the bank account and took my money.”

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Vo said that she won the award in August, but she was waiting to send it to Tallahassee so that she would have the money to pay for the birthday weekend on September 26.

She received a check for $175 instead of a check for $1,000 and explained that the lost funds were transferred to DEO due to overpayment of unemployment benefits.

Vo has been working at the popular Dixie Crossroads seafood restaurant in Titusville for the past 17 years, but in March last year, due to COVID-19, all employees were taken on leave.

“So (in) nearly two months we were all unemployed,” Vo said. “I think I received a letter in August 2021 saying that I owed $825.”

Vo said that the restaurant’s employees received the same letter from the country for various overpayments, threatening that it would withhold wages to recover the funds.

She filed an appeal for the overpayment issue with DEO, but as of Monday, her account showed that it was still under review.

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“So, to this day, it is still pending, but they have received $825,” she said. “I think I was robbed.”

Ironically, Governor Ron DeSantis and DEO sent a request to Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis last week to “delay all non-fraudulent activities indefinitely.” Referral of debts to collection agencies”.

The Governor’s request specifically mentions all the weeks from March 1, 2020 to September 4, 2021.

DEO Secretary Dane Eagle stated that the announcement was intended to “help Floridians get rid of avoidable setbacks in personal economic recovery.”

“And it’s difficult,” Vo told News6. “I’m still struggling. The work is still not at full capacity. I have a house and I have a mortgage.”

On Monday, the Make Ends Meet team of News 6 sent her case to DEO’s reemployment representative. Less than 24 hours later, Vo sent us a very happy text message:

“I just received a call from DEO. They will return it to me for $825. Thank you very much for making this happen.”

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If you have unemployment problems, please send an email to makeendsmeet@wkmg.com or send a text message to 407-676-7428.

Please remember to send us a screenshot of your DEO account, we need to check the claimant number, currency status, and any instructions or letters from the state government regarding your benefits.

Please check back here for updates.


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