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Arkansas mother quits job after winning $500,000 lottery prize

Mar 28, 2021, 6:38 pm

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Arkansas Lottery

From a night-shift factory position to relaxing on the beach

By Kate Northrop

The lives of an Arkansas woman and her family drastically changed overnight thanks to a $500,000 top prize from a scratch-off lottery ticket.

A week ago, Sabrena Jones of Paragould was working the night shift at a factory from the hours of 5:00 pm to 5:00 am. A major windfall in the form of a $500,000 top prize means that she'll no longer have to endure the rough routine.

"I was really needing something good to happen to me," Jones said when she claimed her prize at the Lottery's Little Rock Claim Center on Tuesday. "The past two years have been hard."

Jones picked up a "200X The Prize" scratch-off ticket for $20 at the Flash Market gas station on E. Kings Highway in Paragould. On Saturday night, she was with her mother and brother when she discovered that her life would instantly change for the better.

"I don't play all that often, but I do play my winners," she remarked. "I had won $280 the week before, so I took some of that money to purchase more tickets last Saturday. I joked with my mother that I didn't want her to scratch off any of the tickets because she had teased me before telling me I won a big prize when I didn't."

Jones' mother continued to scratch off her daughter's tickets — she was actually the one who scratched off the winning ticket, but she mistakenly thought that her daughter had won only $500, not $500,000.

"I plan to give my mom a scratcher's fee," she joked.

Before quitting her job, Jones went to work the following Sunday night and bought lunch for all her co-workers as part of one last goodbye.

Even when she claimed her prize on Tuesday, she said that she was still in shock, and understandably so. According to Jones, the sum will make it much easier to support Jones' daughter, who will be attending a private college in the fall. She'll also purchase a new car for each of her two daughters and mentioned taking a well-deserved vacation.

For selling the winning ticket, the Flash Market will receive a 1% commission, or $5,000. The same retailer will also receive an additional $2,000 commission for a separate winning ticket that was bought at that location, a press release said. That prize was claimed by a Missouri resident who won $200,000 from the $10 "$10,000,000 Cash Extravaganza" instant game.

Jones was the first player to take home one of the four available top prizes of $500,000 in the "200X The Prize" game that was launched at the beginning of the month. No one has yet to claim the only available second prize of $50,000 and the two third prizes of $20,000.

"I just want to have a little bit of fun and relax," she told the Lottery. "I have always wanted to live by the beach, so I plan to move — maybe to South Carolina, get a beach house, and go to work — just not doing the night shift."

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