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Three women vying for ownership of $1 million lottery ticket

Arkansas LotteryArkansas Lottery: Three women vying for ownership of $1 million lottery ticket
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Includes video report

A winning $1 million lottery ticket picked out of a gas station trash can has become the subject of a three-way legal battle in Arkansas.

Sharon Jones was at a Super One Stop in July 2011 in Bebee, Ark., when she went to a trash bin to pick up a handful of discarded lottery tickets, as she had done many times before, according to her attorneys.

A program through the lottery commission website allows people to register non-winning tickets for points that they can use to work towards prizes.

"On Sunday, as was a routine, my client and her husband sit around and enter these tickets in the program," Jones' attorney Winston Collier said. "[The program] wouldn't give them points on this one ticket in particular."

The couple realized the problem was that the ticket was not completely scratched off.

"It was, in fact, not a losing lottery ticket and not only that, but it's worth a million dollars," Collier said. "Thus a controversy was born."

Jones turned in the ticket and received a check for $680,000. After the check was issued, the lottery commission began the process of confirming all winning tickets and in the course of the investigation, surveillance footage showed Jones grabbing a handful of discarded tickets from the trash bin.

After seeing the footage, the store manager, Lisa Petriches, claimed that customers were not allowed to take tickets from the bin and that she had a deal with the manager that those tickets belonged to her.

A month after Jones collected her check, Petriches filed a lawsuit against her, claiming that the winning ticket was hers. Petriches also claimed that there was a "Do Not Take" sign on the bin.

"We really don't believe that Lisa Petriches has any claim whatsoever," Jones' attorney Jimmy Simpson said. "She's saying those tickets were hers, but you've got all these people saying they weren't."

Simpson said several regulars from the store are willing to testify that it was common practice for customers to grab tickets from the bin and that that sign was not up at the time when Jones picked up the winning ticket.

"Our theory is that it was abandoned property," Collier said. "Once someone has abandoned it, it becomes the property of the first possessor."

One of Petriches' attorneys, Steven Underwood, refused to comment for the story.

"From our perspective, the person who won is the winner, the person who brought it in," Julie Baldridge, the interim director of public affiars and legislative relations for the Arkansas Lottery Commission said. "We don't take a position on ownership. It's whoever comes to our claims office with their signature on the back."

Baldridge said that legally, it's up to a judge to decide who the ticket belongs to.

A third party entered the equation this week when Sharon Duncan claimed that she was the one who originally purchased the ticket and that the jackpot is rightfully hers. The attorneys are meeing with the lottery commission on Monday to determine if there is any way to confirm the ticket's ownership.

Duncan could not be reached for comment.

The two parties originally involved in the case appeared before a judge on Wednesday, but were dismissed after the judge expressed concern that not all of the necessary parties were present, alluding to Duncan and her claim of ownership.

The $680,000 winnings are frozen as the case makes its way to court, but Collier said that his distressed client already spent some money in the month she had the winnings that she would not have otherwise spent, including buying a used car.

"She is a salt of the earth woman," Collier said. "I recognized her when she came into my office because she used to work at a mom and pop cafe for years and years. She's a friendly person, but she's had to double her blood pressure medication."

The next court date has not yet been set.

http://media.lpimg.com/2012012601.mp4

Thanks to TheRightPrice for the tip.

ABC News, CNN

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42 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by tnhope.
Page 1 of 3
Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
S.E.Iowa
United States
Member #120504
December 21, 2011
534 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 26, 2012, 9:48 pm - IP Logged

Before the Hot Lotto debacle in Iowa,I would say that the person who signed the ticket was the lawful owner.Now I don't know what the heck to think.

    rdgrnr's avatar - walt
    Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
    United States
    Member #73904
    April 28, 2009
    14903 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 26, 2012, 10:30 pm - IP Logged

    The one who bought it threw it away - Dismissed.

    The clerk is lying about it - Dismissed.

    Sharon Jones found it, signed it and turned it in. She should get it.


                                                 
                         
                                             

     

     

     

     

                                                                                                       

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

                                                                                                --Edmund Burke

     

     

      Grovel's avatar - f800e6a39fbfea795d1dcbb09f2244
      Little Rock, AR
      United States
      Member #68365
      December 19, 2008
      241 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 26, 2012, 10:41 pm - IP Logged

      I always pick up tickets I find too. Once you throw it away you lost any right to claim it.

        dpoly1's avatar - driver
        PA
        United States
        Member #66141
        October 16, 2008
        1672 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 26, 2012, 10:57 pm - IP Logged

        I bought 2 quick pick Powerball tickets today. I can tell you which clerk sold the tickets. There will be no controversy. They will just wire about $60,000,000 to my bank account as I hide in a very nice place for a while!

          Avatar
          Monkey Butt, USA
          United States
          Member #54569
          August 23, 2007
          1124 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 26, 2012, 11:05 pm - IP Logged

          This is greed in it's true form.

          I agree with you Ridge.

          Give Mrs. Jones her money and be done with it.

          Put some icing on this cake, file false claim charges on the other two women.

            HiFi's avatar - police

            United States
            Member #3792
            February 21, 2004
            198 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 26, 2012, 11:44 pm - IP Logged

            id feel a bit embarassed to be picking thru the garbage can like that but it turned out lucky for this lady... i always wondered if someone ever threw away a top prize winner like that.

              WHISH's avatar - flower2
              Hardwick, Georgia 31034
              United States
              Member #104
              August 16, 2001
              855 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 27, 2012, 12:25 am - IP Logged

              Finder Keeper, losser weaper, if she never told where the trash was there wouldn't be no claimers, give the trash digger her moneyLOLCheers

                savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                adelaide sa
                Australia
                Member #37136
                April 11, 2006
                3300 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 27, 2012, 12:55 am - IP Logged

                bwaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaaa

                 

                ROFL

                2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                  Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                  Zeta Reticuli Star System
                  United States
                  Member #30470
                  January 17, 2006
                  10345 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 27, 2012, 1:08 am - IP Logged

                  From the OP:

                  After seeing the footage, the store manager, Lisa Petriches, claimed that customers were not allowed to take tickets from the bin and that she had a deal with the manager that those tickets belonged to her.

                  WT2?

                  What am I missing?

                  Another from the OP:

                  "From our perspective, the person who won is the winner, the person who brought it in," Julie Baldridge, the interim director of public affiars and legislative relations for the Arkansas Lottery Commission said. "We don't take a position on ownership. It's whoever comes to our claims office with their signature on the back.

                  Remember the Texas case where the store clerk told the guy rthat his ticket was a loser and then the clerk cashed the ticket and went to Nepal or somewhere? After that weren't there posts here about lottery commissions asking people a bunch of verification questions? Granted, this case was a scratcher so is a little different, but still.

                  You have to feel for the person who bought the ticket, but of course there'd be a lot of people claiming to be that person if there was a hint of a payoff.

                  Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                  Lep

                  There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                    s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
                    Hard Luck, Ak
                    United States
                    Member #23472
                    October 13, 2005
                    275 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: January 27, 2012, 2:59 am - IP Logged

                    The one who bought it threw it away - Dismissed.

                    The clerk is lying about it - Dismissed.

                    Sharon Jones found it, signed it and turned it in. She should get it.

                    I Agree!   CONCUR! If the person who brought the ticket did not have sense enough to see if it was a winner and then threw it away in the trash, doesn't  deserve the jackpot. Plus it could have been anyone that brought that ticket and threw it away thinking that it was not a winner. If I was that lady who got that ticket I would tell that clerk to kiss my @ss! I just hope that she doesn't end up paying the majority of the prize money in lawyer fees. Maybe she can find some one to represent her pro-bono....but I doubt it. She will prevail in the end though.

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

                                                                                   Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

                      Avatar
                      Orlando, FL
                      United States
                      Member #115785
                      August 28, 2011
                      259 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: January 27, 2012, 4:57 am - IP Logged

                      This is one of the most ridiculous stories I have ever seen. America has gone downhill for sure. Avarice and greed is everywhere which is why our country is in decline. Whoever found and claimed the ticket first, is the true winner.

                        dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
                        Pennsylvania
                        United States
                        Member #74096
                        May 2, 2009
                        22861 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: January 27, 2012, 6:00 am - IP Logged

                        What a joke!

                        I'd want to see the store tapes, then I'd want to see the entry times, ticket types and numbers the couple

                        entered on the website on Sunday. That's about all I'd need to come to a judgement.

                        HOW does Sharon Duncan KNOW that's her ticket?

                        HOW does Lisa Petriches lay claim to a discarded pile of tickets by putting a Do Not Take sign on a trash

                        bin? Do not take WHAT?.....the meaning could be implied as to what not to take but technically, if it didn't

                        say DO NOT TAKE THESE TICKETS signed by store management....then get back to work and stop tying up

                        the courts with senseless suits that make judges weary.

                        Let Jones have it and be done with it. She found it, signed it and turned it in. It will be very interesting to

                        see what comes of this.

                          Avatar
                          New Member

                          United States
                          Member #120281
                          December 15, 2011
                          35 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: January 27, 2012, 8:00 am - IP Logged

                          The one who bought it threw it away - Dismissed.

                          The clerk is lying about it - Dismissed.

                          Sharon Jones found it, signed it and turned it in. She should get it.

                          I Agree!

                          I don't know what is so hard to understand about this.  It's Sharon's...end of story.


                            United States
                            Member #111442
                            May 25, 2011
                            6323 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: January 27, 2012, 8:07 am - IP Logged

                            Throw Duncan & Petriches into the trash. Shake well.  Bury them as deeply as possible into the stinkiest landfill. Wait two month's.....   Roll Eyes

                             

                            If no reply from either by then.........mail Jones her check.   Mail For You

                             

                             

                            Let's move on to next LP news story.    Type