Experience News in a New Way

Woman finds winning lotto ticket in trash, forced to give prize to ticket buyer

When you are in grade school, “finders keepers” is the law of the land. But apparently in Arkansas, that law does not apply.

A judge there ruled a million dollar winning lottery ticket that Sharon Jones found in the trash did not belong to her but to the woman who threw it away, Sharon Duncan.

Duncan says she scanned the ticket to see if she had won, and the machine said “not a winner.” So she tossed it in the trash.

Jones, being a bit of a dumpster diver, often digs out discarded lotto tickets hoping to claim a secondary prize. Last July, she hit the jackpot with the million dollar winner at the Super 1 Stop convenience store in Beebe, near Little Rock.

After spending about $200,000 on a new house and helping out friends and family, she received a restraining order blocking her from spending any more.

Apparently, Duncan realized her mistake and wanted the money back. So she sued for it and won. The judge said just because she threw out the ticket did not mean she abandoned her right to claim the prize.

Jones plans to appeal the judge’s decision.

You have to hope she wins. A case overriding the power of “finders keepers” could upset the balance of the universe. I mean– what’s next? Forcing kids to accept returns after yelling, “no backs plus tax”?

The best possible outcome for this case: Sharon Jones and Sharon Duncan agree to ‘share in’ the winnings and let the “finders keepers” rule stand.


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This entry was posted on May 4, 2012 by in NewsFix Now and tagged , , , , .
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