Arkansas woman almost gifts winning lottery ticket to ex-father-in-law

Sep 11, 2023, 1:32 pm (18 comments)

Arkansas Lottery

Gift giver decides to keep lottery ticket at the last minute not knowing it was a winner

By Kate Northrop

TEXARKANA, Ark. — An Arkansas woman nearly gave away a scratch-off lottery ticket that would have won the gift recipient $75,000, but she decided to keep the ticket in the end.

A lottery player who resides in Texarkana, Arkansas almost gifted a winning lottery ticket to her ex-father-in-law for his birthday, but the decision to leave it out of the envelope meant she won a huge prize instead.

Paula Penn had no idea that one of the lottery tickets she was about to give her ex-father-in-law for his birthday was a big winner for $75,000.

On Thursday morning, Penn bought a few scratch-off tickets for his birthday from the E-Z Mart on Jefferson Avenue in Texarkana.

Try as she might, she just couldn't stuff all the tickets into his birthday card envelope, so she took out the $3 "$75,000 Jewels" ticket and kept it for herself.

"That ticket really stood out to me because of the diamonds on it," Penn told the Arkansas Lottery. "I love diamond mining in my spare time."

It was when she was at work that day that she realized the ticket she took out of the envelope won a huge prize.

"I asked my boss and co-workers to confirm the win, and the owner gave me permission to leave for the day to come to Little Rock to redeem my prize," Penn explained. "My ex-father-in-law is definitely going to get a kick out of this story."

Penn had won the game's first $75,000 top prize, leaving two more top prizes waiting to be claimed in the game.

With her winnings, Penn says she plans to pay off her debt and take a vacation later this year.

"I can also quit my second job as an Uber driver," she added.

In addition to two more top prizes of $75,000, there are 20 out of 22 second-tier prizes of $1,000 and 34 out of 36 third-tier prizes of $500 left to claim in the "$75,000 Jewels" game, which recently launched two weeks ago.

The overall odds of winning any prize in the scratch-off game are 1 in 3.66.

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Lottery Post Staff


Tony Numbers's avatarTony Numbers


sully16's avatarsully16

Well Thank God her ex-father-in-law was having a birthday, hope she gets him a nice gift instead of a stinking card, Congrats Paula , enjoy , could have been more tactful and kept your mouth shut.

Feeling a tad bit passive agressive today. 🤪

Brock Lee's avatarBrock Lee

i would have taken that little secret to my grave. whatever you do paula, do not buy a talking parrot.


    Her ex father-in-law is not going to be getting a kick out of this story one would think. I would be seething mad about it that she didn't keep her mouth shut. Now, I have to deal with that the size of a lottery ticket cost me 75K. I would have given her 15K back which is about the amount i think she should give me for blabbing this. This is why giving lottery tickets as gifts is not a good idea. It usually ends with the gift being worthless of course. But sometimes someone gives away a good one and feelings get hurt in some manner.

Artist77's avatarArtist77

Maybe she wanted to get back at her former father in law or ex husband? Or he is a multi millionaire. There would be no logical reason for her to mention that detail otherwise.  And divorced women, especially ones with children, often experience a huge economic drop after divorce.

I am glad she kept that ticket. She did not owe him anything.

Raven62's avatarRaven62

Congrats to the Winner!

May more Wins come her way!


It is nice to know that she can pay off debt, take a vacation and quit her 2nd job as an Uber driver all on $75K. Somehow it sounds like a miscalculation.


Quote: Originally posted by winterhug on Sep 12, 2023

It is nice to know that she can pay off debt, take a vacation and quit her 2nd job as an Uber driver all on $75K. Somehow it sounds like a miscalculation.

   Yes, that 75K will be reduced to around 51K after taxes. It does seem like she is gloating about the fact that she put one over on her ex father in law. But why would she have been sending him tickets in the first place if they had issues over her failed marriage. Something is amiss here. Once again, she should not have brought this fact up no matter what the relationship was.

Artist77's avatarArtist77

You all are too hard on this woman. Maybe she had to stay on the good side of her ex father in law to get his son to pay child support.

Now she has some freedom and can say ha ha a bit.

db101's avatardb101

Maybe there isn't any soap opera drama and she's just a person who happens to be on good terms with her ex-in-laws and they are happy for her win. Stranger things have occurred.


Quote: Originally posted by db101 on Sep 12, 2023

Maybe there isn't any soap opera drama and she's just a person who happens to be on good terms with her ex-in-laws and they are happy for her win. Stranger things have occurred.

OK, that could be the situation. If the father in law is rich and doesn't care about the 75K then it is fine for her to crack jokes and make statements regarding how she happened to end up with the ticket which was not intended for her but him. I would have gotten a bigger envelope if I bought something for someone and needed it. She works two jobs and thinks this 51K is going to last is only kidding herself especially dumping the Uber gig. She will rip through that money like there is no tomorrow. If the father in law is just a working slug just getting by then he has reason to be privately enraged about this. Maybe he wants to keep peace and harmony and won't say anything like she should have done. But hearing how fast she is going to fritter it away  must knaw at him some.


Where in the article does it mention any children.


My view is her ex-Father-in law and her get along very well.   No mention of the ex husband.  Reading between the lines it seems like he a work of art, but who knows?

Artist77's avatarArtist77

Yes. All the comments are of course conjecture as with any news story. Not every winner is going to mention children if they have any, especially young ones.

But how does one assume she is frittering away this money? She sounds like a hard working woman who got a bit of a break. Many people are suffering in this economy.


  She looks like someone who is irresponsible with money to me. That hair needs attention for one thing.

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