MIAMI (CBSMiami) — She won a car. Then she didn’t. On Thursday, a South Florida casino gave the woman enough cash to buy a new one.
Rachel Marom says the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach announced her as the winner of a new car during a giveaway on Tuesday night but wouldn’t accept her identification because they were copies of the driver’s license and resident card.
Casino management says they have to follow certain rules and must be provided a valid ID by a contest winner.
On Thursday afternoon, less than a day after CBS 4 News first broadcast her story, the casino decided to award Marom $14,000 — the cash value of the brand new Fiat they gave away.
“There was a little miscommunication but we really value our patrons here at the casino,” said Lisa Mizrachi of the Mardi Gras Casino. “Management reviewed it and we decided to reward her with the cash value of the prize.”
Marom was ecstatic.
“Thank you! I really appreciate it,” Marom said.
Casino managers said they know Marom is a loyal customer and has been a regular for six years. Marom isn’t bothered one bit about not getting the new car. In fact, she said she prefers the cash.
“I will travel a little bit and pay my debts a little bit and enjoy the money,” Marom said. “And enjoy the peace of mind,” said Marom.
The story begins on Tuesday night. Marom said she went to the casino to put her name in the running for a giveaway of a brand new Fiat. At 10:30 pm the casino announced the winner.
“It was the farthest thing in my mind that I would ever win,” she told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “They called Rachel Marom, please come here. You’re the winner of the car!”
She rushed to claim her prize.
“I jumped. I was shaking,” she said. “I was almost going bananas.”
Marom says casino workers asked for identification and she handed over a laminated copy of her driver’s license and resident card. She said she stopped carrying her original license and resident card after she was robbed and had her pocketbook stolen.
“They said, ‘Oh this is just a copy. We cannot accept a copy,'” she recalls. “I said, ‘What do you mean? But you can see that its me and everybody around here know me.'”
Marom said an employee told her she had three minutes to produce the originals. She says she informed the employee that she lives close to the casino but would need some extra time. She said her argument fell flat.
“He kept on going and called another name and left me there shaking and crying and totally devastated,” Marom said.
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