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Woman Who Lost Lottery Ticket May Still Get $1 Million

lottery tickets
Kevork Djansezian, Getty

It takes a lot of luck to pick the winning numbers in a million dollar lottery. It takes a lot more to lose the winning ticket and still be able to claim the cash.

Sharon Duncan of Arkansas purchased a lottery ticket worth a sizable amount of money, but Sharon Jones found it and cashed it in for the prize money. A judge ruled that the person who bought the ticket still had possession of the winnings and the person who found it may have to pay back the $1 million prize money.

Duncan claims she purchased the ticket in a convenience store, but she threw it away when a scanner told her the ticket was not a winner. She chucked it in a trash can and went on her merry way.

Jones found several lottery tickets in the bin and cashed them in when one of them turned out to be worth $1 million in cash. The manager of the store where Duncan bought the ticket filed a lawsuit against Jones after learning she obtained it from a rubbish bin. The lawsuit ruled that the store manager wasn’t entitled to part of the money, but the case revealed that Duncan was the ticket’s original purchaser.

Even though Jones’ attorney said that returning the ticket to Duncan would create a precedent of “garage-sale law,” the judge ruled that Duncan was still entitled to the money. Jones has time to file an appeal, but if she exhausts all legal options, she’ll have to pay back $1 million to Duncan. That might be a problem since Jones already spent part of it on a new truck and gifts to her children.

She could always raise the money by playing the lottery. Maybe luck will strike twice.

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