After further review, ticket’s a loser |

After further review, ticket’s a loser

Heidi Rice
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

RIFLE – Oops.That about sums up the situation for a Rifle man who believed he had a winning $40,000 lottery ticket, only to discover Tuesday morning it wasn’t so.The story of Bob Clements, 48, of Rifle, who had reportedly purchased the winning lottery ticket in April 2005 and didn’t discover it was a winner until after the claim deadline, even made national news in the National Enquirer in the Monday’s edition.

Clements was also interviewed by Denver newspapers and TV stations about his plight.As the story went, Clements had been diagnosed with cancer shortly before buying the ticket. On heavy medication that left him confused, he put the ticket away until he could think more clearly. In February, he looked at it again and determined it to be a winner.However, Clements said the Colorado Lottery Commission had declined to pay him the money because he had missed the 180-day deadline after the game closed on Dec. 19. Clements then hired an attorney to recoup the money, which he believed he was entitled to. But after discovering Clements had contacted the press, the attorney withdrew.On Tuesday, upon closer inspection of the ticket, Clements realized he misread the ticket and saw that it wasn’t a winner. Unfortunately, he counted the “R” on the Hangman scratch ticket as an “R” and then as an “A.” He needed the “A” on the ticket to spell the word “radius.”

“Channel 9 news (from Denver) was just here, and I looked at the ticket again after they left,” Clements said Tuesday morning. “The ‘R’ looked like an ‘A.’ It looked like a winner. But it’s not.”Clements had kept the ticket in a protective plastic wrapper.A cashier at a lottery ticket office also told Clements the ticket looked like a winner, but it came back as a “cash reject” because it had expired.Clements said he felt bad and was embarrassed about the whole situation.

The National Enquirer, to whom he sold the story, included a coupon with the piece addressed to Colorado Lottery Director Peggy Gordon out of the Pueblo office, where people could petition to have Clements receive his money.”It’s not going to be so bad,” said Diane Reimer, public information officer for the Department of Revenue, about the impending flood of coupons. “We wish him well and hope things work out with his health. Although this has never happened before, we’re going to handle it.”For Clements, the ticket was a loser all the way around.”This was just for sure an error,” he said.Vail, Colorado

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