HUFFINGTON POST
10/16/2012 01:30 pm ET Updated Oct 16, 2012

Leisa Mauch, Kansas Lottery 'Winner,' Has NASCAR Weekend Prize Snatched Back

The Kansas Lottery awarded Leisa Mauch a NASCAR weekend for two, then shifted in reverse to take the prize back.

Now Mauch feels run over.

"I'm sure dreams do come true for some, but not for me," she told KWCH.

The lottery issued a press release on Sept. 7 announcing the 40 winners of its Kansas Speedway VIP Racing Experience. Mauch, of Cunningham, Kansas, was among them.

The lottery also sent Mauch a congratulatory letter that would drive any NASCAR fan to celebrate: The $4,400 package -- including two tickets to this weekend's races, lodging, transportation and $400 -- was indeed hers.

But days later, the Lottery called to say her contest claim form had crashed and burned because she submitted a winning scratch-off ticket. The contest was a second-chance drawing for non-winning tickets, as the application stated. She was disqualified.

Rules are rules, Mauch conceded. But receiving a winning confirmation got her hopes up to see her favorite driver, Kyle Busch, she said in the news segment. She wants to know why the status of the ticket wasn't discovered before she was awarded the prize.

Lottery spokeswoman Sally Lunsford told The Huffington Post the lottery had no way of knowing whether Mauch had a winning or losing ticket before receiving the physical ticket. The online contest required applicants to fill in a number located with a bar code on the lottery scratch-off. But those digits do not verify the status of a ticket. Lunsford said the lottery is taking steps to better validate entries in the future.

"We don't want a situation where somebody gets their hopes up and is not a winner after all," she said on Monday.

Asked why the Lottery couldn't just give Mauch the goodies anyway, Lunsford answered, "That would be totally unfair to all the people who did play by the rules."

The Lottery offered Mauch tickets to the races on Friday and Saturday (the day of the Kansas Lottery 300), but not the Sprint Cup race on Sunday. Mauch said to KWCH she couldn't afford the trip without the the transportation and lodging anyway. According to Mapquest, the distance between her home and the speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, is more than 260 miles.

Incidentally, Mauch's winning scratch-off was good for $5, and she cashed it, Lunsford said.

Compared to a NASCAR weekend, not much of a consolation.

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