Lady Luck or Lady Liberty? Las Vegas edged out the Big Apple on a postage stamp that bears the likeness of Sin City's diminutive replica of the New York City landmark instead of the original. It wasn't intentional, U.S. Postal Service officials said, but there are no plans to correct the mistake.
Though 2 billion of the stamps were issued Dec. 1 -- and 3 billion were printed -- the agency learned of the discrepancy only last month.
"A stamp collector looked at the image and noticed that's not the original, that's the replica, the Las Vegas version," said Roy Betts, manager of community relations for the Postal Service in Washington. The scaled-down version appears at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
What tipped the collector to the differences on the stamp? The dark areas instead of windows in the crown for starters, Betts said.
The stamp is based on a photograph from Raimund Linke that was labeled only "Lady Liberty." The Postal Service selected the image from a photography stock house, and no one was thinking Vegas when the image made its way through the approval process, according to Betts.
Now the stamp remains in circulation.
"There's no error on the stamp, so we're not recalling them," Betts said.
And we'll be living with the faux Lady Liberty stamps for a long, long time. Yup, they're "forever" stamps.