Congratulations! You lost.

This is just confusing.

Courtesy of Yahoo News:

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) — 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.


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.”

So, one the one hand, Duncan DID throw it away. However, she wouldn’t have done so had the ticket shown up as a winner.

I don’t know. I feel for both of the “Sharons”. Either way, one of these ladies is gonna feel ripped off.

Question: Since this is going to be appealed, does the next judge order the prize money split?

5 responses to “Congratulations! You lost.

  1. LivinRightinPGH

    Make them split the prize and then have them on Jerry Springer next year to see how much they have left and how much trouble it caused them. Now THAT’S entertainment, Mister!

  2. Law in AR says that someone cannot be considered to have abandoned something if they didn’t know they were abandoning it. The original buyer is saying she cannot have abandoned it because she did not know what she had, due to the machine. What will probably happen is that, on appeal, the finder, who has been ordered to return the money (which has been spent) will successfully sue the state to force them to pay the original buyer due to the fcat that the machine that incorrectly identified the ticket is the mandated responsibility of the state for the purpose of equal access. (So blind people and those who cannot read English can know if they have a winner.)

    • justturnright

      I agree that the purchaser will likely win, John. But I can certainly see the other side on this one.

      Does seem to open up a particularly problematic can-o-worms, though…..

      Thanks for the info, sir!

      • They both win. The finder spent the money. The purchaser gets the award and the state will have to pay. What is funny is that, after the controversy started, the owner of the convenience store put a sign over the trash that says, “Do Not Take” and is now arguing that SHE should get the money because it was in HER trash and NOT public property because it had not been put on the street for collection.

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