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OK Arkansas woman may be forced to give up lottery winnings

Posted by on May. 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM
  • 7 Replies

Saw this article on yahoo this morning:

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas woman who cashed a $1 millionlottery ticket may have to give up the winnings to a woman who threw away the ticket after she bought it, according to a judge's ruling Tuesday.

The judge decided that Sharon Duncan was entitled to the prize money, not Sharon Jones, who claimed the prize money after she took the ticket from a trash can of discarded lottery tickets at aconvenience store in Beebe, a city about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock.

Jones' attorney, James Simpson, said he plans to appeal. Jones had testified that she already spent some of the money on a new truck and cash gifts to her children.

Simpson noted that Duncan testified she threw away the ticket after the read-out on a ticket scanner said, "Sorry. Not a winner." The attorney argued that people shouldn't be allowed to throw items away and then say, "'ooh, I want to un-abandon it.'"

"We'd have garage-sale law all over the place," he said. "It became trash when someone threw it away."

White County judge Thomas Hughes, however, said Jones never met the burden of proof that Duncan abandoned her right to claim $1 million.

"The $1 million was never found money," Hughes said.

Earlier Tuesday, Jones testified that she gathered a handful of discarded tickets from the trash can — as she had done many times before — and said there was no sign alerting customers not to take tickets.

That contradicted Super 1 Stop store manager Lisa Petriches' earlier testimony that she had taped a sign that read "Do not take" on the can. But a former store clerk testified that Petriches posted the sign only after Jones claimed the prize.

Petriches brought the lawsuit against Jones, and Duncan joined it after the judge said at a January hearing that she may be the true owner of the ticket. Hughes ruled that Petriches and the store's owner, Louie Dajani — whose corporation, Summer One LLC, joined the suit — weren't entitled to anything.

The judge instructed the winning side to write the judgment for his signature, and it will become official once Hughes signs it. Jones' attorneys will then have 30 days to file an appeal.

Hughes found that the evidence weighed in Duncan's favor that she bought the winning ticket, even though lottery records and store security video didn't synch up to the precise timing of the purchase.

Arkansas Lottery Security Chief Lance Huey testified that he investigated the circumstances of the ticket falling into Jones' hands. He said the lottery was satisfied with the investigation and awarded the prize.

Duncan's attorney, James "Red" Morgan, argued that she simply made a mistake by throwing away a $1 million ticket and that the only right she willingly parted with was to enter the ticket for the possibility of a secondary prize.

With the given information, who do you think should have claim to the winning ticket?

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by on May. 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM
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Replies (1-7):
Why123
by Nancy on May. 2, 2012 at 9:17 AM

That's the problem with the lottery.  If anyone finds out you have the money there will be people who are trying to take it away.

hugss
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by on May. 2, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Hope she hasn't spent it ;)


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LadySaphira
by Lisa on May. 2, 2012 at 9:23 AM

I think the lady who found the ticket should be entitled to the winnings based on this article. The ticket was in the trash and there for abandoned. 

My mind immediately cam up with the scenario of Jones telling the manager that she had found it and that the manager then called the Duncan and told her " hey this woman found a million dollar ticket, you claim to have been the one to throw it out and we can split the money" It does not matter if the Judge who ruled in Duncan's favor said the manager isn't entitled to any of the money, that is not going to stop Duncan from giving her any if this ridiculous judgement is  upheld. 

There is even enough proof that it was a ticket purchased by Duncan. The store video and lottery purchase time didn't sync up.

Bmat
by Barb on May. 2, 2012 at 9:47 AM

I think the lady who found the ticket should get the money.  She was enterprising enough to search for it.

melissa632
by Member on May. 2, 2012 at 9:49 AM
Agree

Quoting Bmat:

I think the lady who found the ticket should get the money.  She was enterprising enough to search for it.

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jabs54
by Jeanine on May. 2, 2012 at 2:49 PM

 I think the lady who picked it out of the trash should keep it.  In the very least they should split it 50/50.

homeskoolmama
by on May. 2, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Crazy is what I truly think.

One woman throws it away then decides she wants it after it is claimed. uh sorry, you threw it away.

It was in the trash.

Do they know it was her ticket, was her name on it?

When we were little we called it "finders keepers loosers weapers"

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