A judge Tuesday ruled that a woman, who threw away the $1 million winning lottery ticket right after she had bought it, was entitled to the money.
White County judge Thomas Hughes decided that Sharon Duncan, who threw away the ticket after purchasing it, was entitled to the winning money and not the other two women involved in the lawsuit.
The $1 million ticket was cashed by an Arkansas woman who got the ticket while searching a waste can of discarded lottery tickets at a convenience store in Beebe, Ark.
Three people claimed for the ownership of the winning ticket - store manager Lisa Petriches, who filed the original law suit, Sharon Jones and Duncan.
James Simpson, Jones's attorney, said that he was planning to file an appeal against the decision after Jones testified that she had already spent some money to buy a new truck and some to buy gifts for her children.
He said that Duncan had already testified that she threw away the ticket after the read-out on a ticket scanner said, Sorry. Not a winner, the Associated Press reported.
Simpson argued saying that people should not be allowed to claim who throw items away and then say, 'Ooh. I want to un-abandon it. We'd have garage-sale law all over the place.
Meanwhile, Hughes said that Jones never met the burden of proof that Duncan abandoned her right to claim $1 million.
The $1 million was never found money, Hughes said.
Jones said that she collected a handful of discarded tickets from the trash can and said there was no sign alerting customers not to take tickets.
But Jones statement contradicted Super 1 Stop store manager Lisa Petriches' testimony in which she said that she had put a sign on the trash can that read Do not take.
However, a former store clerk said that Petriches put Do not take sign on the can only after Jones claimed the prize.
Earlier, Hughes ruled that Petriches wasn't entitled to anything. He also said that neither Petriches nor Jones had an actual claim to the ticket.
Meanwhile, Hughes told the winning side to write the judgment for his signature. Once it becomes official, then Jones attorney will have 30 days to file an appeal.
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