Arkansas woman loses bid for $1M lottery ticket picked from trash

rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg

The lady who found it should have kept her yapper shut about it.

The judge was wrong.

sully16's avatar - sharan
In response to rdgrnr

I agree loose lips sink ships, she was even dumber by spending money she didn't have yet.

dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
In response to rdgrnr

I Agree!

dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi

Ms Duncan should split the winnings with Mrs. Jones.  If it wasn't for Jones finding the ticket Duncan would have nothing she was the one that threw away $1 million dollars.


Naw, I have to disagree with EVERYBODY HERE. Why? Possession is 90% of the law...and in this case, just because someone threw away a winning ticket due to not checking it thoroughly, the person who found it and checked shouldn't be stripped of the winnings!!!!! This is total and complete BULLSH*T!!!! I can promise you that if it involved a prize of $50 on a scratch-off, there would be absolutely no issues!!!! However, because this woman wasn't thorough enough to make sure her ticket wasn't a winner, the judge now wants to penalize THE SMART PERSON THAT ACTUALLY GOES AROUND AND CHECKS DISCARDED TICKETS TO VALIDATE WHETHER OR NOT THEY'RE LEGIT WINNERS.

Hell, the ticket wasn't even signed!!! So, this means that if I throw away a $1000 scratch-off, and, someone else finds and claims it, I can file an appeal and get it back!!!! How corrupt is this? The bearer of the ticket is suppose to be the winner providing it wasn't stolen etc. Sorry, I totally disagree with this whole scenario...and the judge is wrong for ruling in this manner. It's the person's fault who threw away a winning ticket...not the discoverer's.



Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg

Lottery tickets are "bearer instruments".If the ticket was unsigned,it belongs to the person that found it and cashed it in.The judge was wrong!Thats how I see it.

In response to Cletu$2

Now you're talkin'!!!!!!!!!


time*treat's avatar - radar

For $1 million, the finder probably had to answer when/how she acquired the ticket.

Remember, they already had video of someone else buying that ticket.


This is BS, the ticket was thrown away, it belongs to the woman who found it. I hope this is overturned on appeal. 

You can tape anything you want on the trash allegedly but as far as I know the law states that once something goes in the trash it is fair game. The trash logic makes no sense regardless. First you could make the crazy argument that if you threw away your ticket by accident you would not be able to retrieve it and second if tickets are thrown in the trash and can't be retrieved, then does that mean the store has the right to the tickets or does the store have to throw out all tickets? 

If it was the store owner that found this ticket rather than this customer would the judge have allowed the owner to keep the ticket? The security video and the ticket purchase time don't even sync up. Where did this judge get his law degree, clown school?

If the ticket was thrown in the dumpster and lost forever this woman would definitely not get anything so at bare minimum she should offer the woman who found the ticket half of the winnings. 

In response to time*treat

Doesn't matter, she threw it away which is also on camera. The NEW BEARER of the ticket actually CLAIMED IT. End of story.


s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
In response to rdgrnr

CONCUR! Had she quietly cashed in the winning ticket there wouldn't have been any issues. The judge seems to lack common way he should have ruled in the way of the person who threw away the ticket. There are cases where people have thrown away tickets believing they were not winners. Who is to say that some bum goes digging through a trash bin looking for a meal and finds a million dollar winning scratch off ticket. Then some yahoo claims to have brought the ticket and threw it away by accident and it it's their ticket. Once that ticket is thrown away it is fair game unless the back of the ticket is signed. That judge should have his/her head examined.

                                                                I Agree!

dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
In response to Lucky Loser


Ridge, Sully and I agree that the Judge was wrong by awarding Ms. Duncan the winnings.  I feel if Mrs. Jones(the lady that found the ticket) loses her appeal Ms. Duncan(the lady that threw the ticket away) should do the right thing and split it with the lady that found the ticket.  If it wasn't for Mrs. Jones the ticket would still be in the trash.

Littleoldlady's avatar - basket

the ticket was unsigned and if the lottery folks were satisfied and gave the finder of the ticket the money, she should be able to keep the money.  It seems like to me the storeowner and manager are trying to "get in on the picture"..why did they think they needed to be in the lawsuit.?  The judge is silly as all get out-because the ticket is a "bearer" instrument.  Finders, keepers, losers, weepers.

winsumloosesum's avatar - Lottery-060.jpg

At least 1 Sharon Won!

Last6Show page 4Page 5 of 6

That is what the lady that found the ticket get she shouldn't have said anything, however i feel like she should have to give the ticket up she didn't spend her $10 for it and the cashier

In the store was wrong for telling the original ticket holder that the ticket was a non winner.

grwurston's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg

  IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This ticket is a bearer instrument. Anyone possessing a winning ticket may claim the prize. Valid only for date(s) shown. Winner must claim the prize within 182 days of the drawing. All winners, tickets and transactions subject to Maryland State Lottery Agency Regulations and State law.

  TO CLAIM A PRIZE: Present this ticket to any Maryland State Lottery ticket agent. Validated winning tickets valued to $600 are eligible for INSTANT PAYOFF. Validated winning tickets higher than $600 will be paid by check after claim is filed. Void if torn or altered.

  As exactly written on the back of all lottery tickets.  I believe the first two sentences are quite clear. Case closed.

Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
In response to grwurston

I Agree!  Iowa & Illinois tickets say the same thing.Iowas tickets are worded a little differently,though.Both states allow you one year from the drawing date to claim your prize.Iowa requires that you be 21 to purchase a ticket,Illinois allows 18 year old to buy tickets.I'm assuming that Arkansas has similar wording on the back of its tickets.

xmasbaby's avatar - Lottery-011.jpg
In response to dallascowboyfan

Hurray! No One could have said it better!  Thank you!

In response to rdgrnr

Yeah, I wrote this the wrong mistake. For now, I'm gonna say this: I'd like to first see if the ticket was scanned, and, then displayed as a loser. There is a record of whether or not that ticket was scanned...and where. If it was the scanner's fault, then I certainly feel the original purchaser is entitled to the winnings...and should split it with the trash diver. If it wasn't for her diving, the ticket would, in fact, be long gone and a total loss by now.

If it was simply misread by the purchaser, and thrown away, then she should receive nothing regardless if she spent her money on the ticket. This is something a player should check, double check, and then re-check before discarding. Should be interesting...


time*treat's avatar - radar
In response to Bigheadnick

Never said anything about the spelling.

'Found the idea that people still expect the courts to be consistent laughable, though.

Your try at deflection is what's soft.

time*treat's avatar - radar
In response to Nikkicute

Usually they get a different judge each round, but there have been cases where the same judge heard the case (argued from a different angle) on appeal.

In response to Lucky Loser

Doesn't anybody actually look at the numbers on the ticket?

I've cashed tickets I thought matched 2 numbers and found out I matched 3 numbers and matched 8 playing Ten-Oh when thought I matched 7. Cashed tickets I thought matched 3 numbers but only matched 2, but at least I knew I had some of the numbers and won something. If I tried to cash a ticket I thought won something and it said "sorry not a winner", I would recheck the ticket against the results.

The reason we read about all the scams is because some players are to lazy to check the results. They hand thousands of dollars worth of unsigned tickets to clerks every day. Even the woman that won twice on the same day handed a clerk $2 million worth of unsigned tickets to be checked. Basically this judge award the money to a player for being extraordinarily stupid.

savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho

i see women tear up losing scratchers into little itty bitty peices when they toss em out. now there is someone who definately doesnt wasnt someone picking up their lost ticket.I feel the dumpster diver deserves a little  something.

as the whoe mess would never have benn  out there if it wasnt her effort. man if i was the winner/ purchaser id prob hand over half, just  to be that someone special that  stands for justice. cuz i sure as hewck couldnt live with myself knowing i thought it a loser. but then ther lotto scanner needs to be smashed as well. i guess if i was the judge i would order lotto to fix its scanners and [pay both ladies.


I find it interesting the store where it was bought 1st tried a lawsuit, when that didn't work this other lady joined in.  Do you think maybe they all know each other and and all are trying to split the money....HMMMMMMMMMMMM

In response to Stack47

Very good points here and I dig people that call it like they see it. We all have a responsibility to personally, and thoroughly, check our tickets against the official results. Also, here's something else lots of people may not know: A winning lottery ticket sounds a certain way if it's, in fact, a winner upon being scanned. If it's a not a winner, it'll read the bar code, pause, and then just "BEEP". A winning ticket will be read, paused, then the machine will begin to print the prize amount.

Now, this is only for tickets ran back through the actual ticket printer...not the scanner only. I think I know why so many people throw away winning scratch-off tickets, too. Some of these tickets provide so many different ways to win that players simply overlook a win because it's hard to interpret it. Some players forget to scratch the whole ticket...leaving a prize amount completely untouched. Others read the symbols wrong and think they've lost when actually, they've won. 

Lots of room for error and this is why players should pay very close attention to what they're doing.



i really hope this gets turned on appeal because this will set a very dangerous precedent.


Not saying anything is just as bad if not worse. Usually the cover-up is worse than the actually crime or mistake that was made from the onset. And we still do not know how this all came about. They never said if the woman said it or if it was just public information that made people aware of the circumstances in this case. But either way, if in fact their was an attempt to validate the ticket and the machine gave false information out, it is not the ticket holders responsibility that the machine malfunctioned. I find that hard to believe but anything is possible. But if the woman threw  the ticket out and never tried to validate the ticket and than someone comes along and takes the tickets out of the garbage, for second chance drawings I believe that it is the persons who found the ticket and either way the store owner/employee has nothing to do with this no matter what the circumstances were.. This only goes to show you, sign all tickets, winners or losers to at least protect your interest if the ticket is for a larger prize or even first prize monies. The reality for people to become instant millionaires is more of a reality now than ever before.


Has anyone considered the amount of money that was spent by the lottery itself on read out scanners that simply do not work? What is the use of having read out scanners if they dont work? Would anyone buy a toilet seat that doesnt work a faucet a garage door anythin in this frinkin world if it doesnt work. This whole eposode began because the lottery installed read out scanners that simply do not work? It makes you wonder if you've ever thown away a winning ticke in the past.

This whole strory began when a women threw away a ticket that "the LOTTERIES READ OUT SCANNER" claimed was a loser. It said "SORRY NOT A WINNER" what kind of bull is that? So I check my ticket the scanner says its not a winnr I throw it away someone else goes through the trash find it and turns it in. And I am out everything all becaus of the "LOTTERYS READ OUT SCANNER" Wow thank you lottery people who created this whole scenrio in my life. How can I ever thank you.


Either have machines that work or stop spending money on faulty machines. That is a waste of money.


Or simply do a Solomon and split the baby in half


Split the money between the two women and be done with it.

Its not the womans fault that the scanner the lottery so invested in do not work and its not the womens falt who found the ticket.

 so just split it and bedone with it.

Again whats the use of having scanners if they dont work?


they're useless.

Bigheadnick's avatar - badluck

 @ time treat ---  I keep forgetting to quote


My mistake then, I thought you were isolating the word because I spelled it wrong. Back to my point and you disagreeing with it then. Yes the courts should be consistent. I think as Americans we have the right to expect as much. Most legal arguments all come down to consistency. This is the whole concept behind arguing case law. You cant say 1+1 = 2 on tuesday then say it equals 6 on friday. Sure you don't think it's realistic of me to expect but I do. And if we just laugh and don't call foul when judges contradict eachother then a piece society will crumble. Not to be dramatic about it  or anything...

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