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Arkansas woman loses bid for $1M lottery ticket picked from trash

Arkansas LotteryArkansas Lottery: Arkansas woman loses bid for $1M lottery ticket picked from trash
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SEARCY, Ark. — An Arkansas woman who cashed a $1 million lottery 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 a convenience 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.

AP

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87 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by pick4master.
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rdgrnr's avatar - walt
-Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
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April 28, 2009
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Posted: May 1, 2012, 10:59 pm - IP Logged

The lady who found it should have kept her yapper shut about it.

The judge was wrong.


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 

    sully16's avatar - sharan
    Listens to the wind
    Michigan
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    Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:02 pm - IP Logged

    The lady who found it should have kept her yapper shut about it.

    The judge was wrong.

    I agree loose lips sink ships, she was even dumber by spending money she didn't have yet.

    There's only one US Flag

      dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
      Oklahoma
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      November 12, 2009
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      Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:06 pm - IP Logged

      The lady who found it should have kept her yapper shut about it.

      The judge was wrong.

      I Agree!

      I Love Pink & Green 1908

        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
        Oklahoma
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        Member #82391
        November 12, 2009
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        Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:13 pm - IP Logged

        Ms Duncan should split the winnings with Mrs. Jones.  If it wasn't for Jones finding the ticket Duncan would have nothing she was the one that threw away $1 million dollars.

        I Love Pink & Green 1908

          Lucky Loser's avatar - bucks
          Texas
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          January 30, 2010
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          Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:21 pm - IP Logged

          Naw, I have to disagree with EVERYBODY HERE. Why? Possession is 90% of the law...and in this case, just because someone threw away a winning ticket due to not checking it thoroughly, the person who found it and checked shouldn't be stripped of the winnings!!!!! This is total and complete BULLSH*T!!!! I can promise you that if it involved a prize of $50 on a scratch-off, there would be absolutely no issues!!!! However, because this woman wasn't thorough enough to make sure her ticket wasn't a winner, the judge now wants to penalize THE SMART PERSON THAT ACTUALLY GOES AROUND AND CHECKS DISCARDED TICKETS TO VALIDATE WHETHER OR NOT THEY'RE LEGIT WINNERS.

          Hell, the ticket wasn't even signed!!! So, this means that if I throw away a $1000 scratch-off, and, someone else finds and claims it, I can file an appeal and get it back!!!! How corrupt is this? The bearer of the ticket is suppose to be the winner providing it wasn't stolen etc. Sorry, I totally disagree with this whole scenario...and the judge is wrong for ruling in this manner. It's the person's fault who threw away a winning ticket...not the discoverer's.

          Amazing......


          L.L.

            Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
            S.E.Iowa
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            December 21, 2011
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            Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:23 pm - IP Logged

            Lottery tickets are "bearer instruments".If the ticket was unsigned,it belongs to the person that found it and cashed it in.The judge was wrong!Thats how I see it.

            When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

            There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

              Lucky Loser's avatar - bucks
              Texas
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              January 30, 2010
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              Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:25 pm - IP Logged

              Lottery tickets are "bearer instruments".If the ticket was unsigned,it belongs to the person that found it and cashed it in.The judge was wrong!Thats how I see it.

              Now you're talkin'!!!!!!!!!


              L.L.

                time*treat's avatar - radar

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                March 30, 2005
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                Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:27 pm - IP Logged

                For $1 million, the finder probably had to answer when/how she acquired the ticket.

                Remember, they already had video of someone else buying that ticket.

                In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

                  Avatar

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                  February 6, 2012
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                  Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:27 pm - IP Logged

                  This is BS, the ticket was thrown away, it belongs to the woman who found it. I hope this is overturned on appeal. 

                  You can tape anything you want on the trash allegedly but as far as I know the law states that once something goes in the trash it is fair game. The trash logic makes no sense regardless. First you could make the crazy argument that if you threw away your ticket by accident you would not be able to retrieve it and second if tickets are thrown in the trash and can't be retrieved, then does that mean the store has the right to the tickets or does the store have to throw out all tickets? 

                  If it was the store owner that found this ticket rather than this customer would the judge have allowed the owner to keep the ticket? The security video and the ticket purchase time don't even sync up. Where did this judge get his law degree, clown school?

                  If the ticket was thrown in the dumpster and lost forever this woman would definitely not get anything so at bare minimum she should offer the woman who found the ticket half of the winnings. 

                    Lucky Loser's avatar - bucks
                    Texas
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                    Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:31 pm - IP Logged

                    For $1 million, the finder probably had to answer when/how she acquired the ticket.

                    Remember, they already had video of someone else buying that ticket.

                    Doesn't matter, she threw it away which is also on camera. The NEW BEARER of the ticket actually CLAIMED IT. End of story.


                    L.L.

                      s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
                      Hard Luck, Ak
                      United States
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                      October 13, 2005
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                      Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:31 pm - IP Logged

                      The lady who found it should have kept her yapper shut about it.

                      The judge was wrong.

                      CONCUR! Had she quietly cashed in the winning ticket there wouldn't have been any issues. The judge seems to lack common sense...no way he should have ruled in the way of the person who threw away the ticket. There are cases where people have thrown away tickets believing they were not winners. Who is to say that some bum goes digging through a trash bin looking for a meal and finds a million dollar winning scratch off ticket. Then some yahoo claims to have brought the ticket and threw it away by accident and it it's their ticket. Once that ticket is thrown away it is fair game unless the back of the ticket is signed. That judge should have his/her head examined.

                                                                                      I Agree!

                      "We make a living by what you get, You make a LIFE by what you give!"

                                                                                     Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

                        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                        Oklahoma
                        United States
                        Member #82391
                        November 12, 2009
                        5412 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:35 pm - IP Logged

                        Naw, I have to disagree with EVERYBODY HERE. Why? Possession is 90% of the law...and in this case, just because someone threw away a winning ticket due to not checking it thoroughly, the person who found it and checked shouldn't be stripped of the winnings!!!!! This is total and complete BULLSH*T!!!! I can promise you that if it involved a prize of $50 on a scratch-off, there would be absolutely no issues!!!! However, because this woman wasn't thorough enough to make sure her ticket wasn't a winner, the judge now wants to penalize THE SMART PERSON THAT ACTUALLY GOES AROUND AND CHECKS DISCARDED TICKETS TO VALIDATE WHETHER OR NOT THEY'RE LEGIT WINNERS.

                        Hell, the ticket wasn't even signed!!! So, this means that if I throw away a $1000 scratch-off, and, someone else finds and claims it, I can file an appeal and get it back!!!! How corrupt is this? The bearer of the ticket is suppose to be the winner providing it wasn't stolen etc. Sorry, I totally disagree with this whole scenario...and the judge is wrong for ruling in this manner. It's the person's fault who threw away a winning ticket...not the discoverer's.

                        Amazing......


                        L.L.

                        LL,   

                        Ridge, Sully and I agree that the Judge was wrong by awarding Ms. Duncan the winnings.  I feel if Mrs. Jones(the lady that found the ticket) loses her appeal Ms. Duncan(the lady that threw the ticket away) should do the right thing and split it with the lady that found the ticket.  If it wasn't for Mrs. Jones the ticket would still be in the trash.

                        I Love Pink & Green 1908

                          Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                          Clarksville
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                          Member #487
                          July 15, 2002
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                          Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:38 pm - IP Logged

                          the ticket was unsigned and if the lottery folks were satisfied and gave the finder of the ticket the money, she should be able to keep the money.  It seems like to me the storeowner and manager are trying to "get in on the picture"..why did they think they needed to be in the lawsuit.?  The judge is silly as all get out-because the ticket is a "bearer" instrument.  Finders, keepers, losers, weepers.

                          If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                          You never know when you will get another hit.

                            winsumloosesum's avatar - Lottery-060.jpg
                            Pennsylvania
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                            Member #2218
                            September 1, 2003
                            4467 Posts
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                            Posted: May 1, 2012, 11:44 pm - IP Logged

                            At least 1 Sharon Won!