Wanda Denise Freeman had some specific projects in mind, so she decided to wait to cash $75,000 in winning Maryland lottery tickets.
But, according to state officials, she waited too long -- 24 hours too long, to be exact -- and the tickets are no longer valid.
Freeman, who lives in Glenn Dale, tried to collect her winnings 181 days after a state lottery drawing in 1985.
But lottery officials said she missed the 180-day deadline set by state law. The money she hoped to bank went back into a pool of unclaimed prize money for future lottery jackpots.
Freeman, 27, and her nephew, Vincent Matthew Carter of Landover, filed suit Thursday against the Maryland State Lottery Agency in Prince George's Circuit Court, alleging that the state "unjustly enriched" itself at their expense.
According to the suit, she won $75,000 in the state's Pick-3 lottery game on Dec. 18, 1985.
She decided to wait 180 days before collecting because she wanted to use the money for a specific purpose and feared she would spend it for other things if she collected it early, the suit said.
Claims forms were presented on June 17, 1986 -- 180 days later, she thought, but she had apparently miscalculated, and officials told her that the deadline had passed the previous day.