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Woman who lost Ark. lotto ticket entitled to $1M
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.
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.
White County Judge Thomas Hughes concluded that Duncan bought the winning ticket, even though lottery records and store security video didn't synch up to the precise timing of the purchase . He ruled that Duncan never abandoned her right to claim the winnings.
The state Lottery Commission said it is confident its machines work properly. "We've never had a report of a mis-scanned ticket," spokeswoman Julie Baldridge said.