Update: Lawsuit filed over $1M winning lottery ticket

(KATV) Beebe - Everyday thousands of lottery tickets are purchased and thrown away, but a Beebe woman who instinctively picked up some discarded scratch off tickets in a gas station became an instant million dollar winner.

The ticket wasn't completely scratched off, now the store manager claims she should get the money.

It's the million dollar question, who is right. We can tell you, someone threw away one million dollars.

The Lottery Commission investigated this claim and gave Sharon Jones the winnings, she went home with $680,000, but it would be more exciting if it wasn't in escrow pending a court order. Jones hired an attorney last week.

Back in July Sharon Jones walked into the Super One Stop on Highway 64 where she buys lottery tickets regularly and picks up discarded tickets so she can redeem them on the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery website for points and second chance winnings.

But when she tried to input the ID number on the back of one of the tickets the website wouldn't accept it, her Attorney Jimmy Simpson explains, "It's because it was a million dollar winner that had not been scratched off. So when she looks into it she scratches it off and finds out that its a million dollar ticket it's kind of like the golden ticket in Willie Wonka."

Back then store manager Lisa Petriches told the Beebe newspaper the Jones' deserved it, now she's suing saying she should get the money because it was a discarded ticket in her store.

This picture of the trash can taken Wednesday shows signs that reads "Do Not Take" but regular customer James Osborne says the sign is new. When asked, "When you've come here in the past there is always a discarded pile that anyone can grab tickets?" He says yes, "There have always been tickets in the garbage and they've never said a word about it."

A one time $20,000 winner, Osborne bought the same type ticket that day at the same gas station. For all he knows it could have been his ticket, but no one wrote their name on the back of the ticket. He adds, "If they want to get really technical about it, the person who actually trashed the ticket, that's the person that should be getting the money if they want to go that route."

Simpson says, "We certainly believe that our client (Sharon Jones) is right and justice will prevail on her side."

The Lottery Commission recommends you sign the back of your tickets immediately.

Jones attorney's Simpson Simpson and Collier filed a motion to dismiss the case. The suit argues Jones committed fraud when she took the ticket out of the trash.

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Beebe (AP) - A worker at a Beebe gas station has sued the winner of a $1 million jackpot from an Arkansas lottery scratch ticket, claiming woman who cashed the ticket took it from her.

The Daily Citizen newspaper in Searcy reported ( ) Tuesday that Super 1 Stop manager Lisa Petriches had a collection of discarded lottery tickets and that Sharon Jones took one without her permission.

The ticket in question hadn't been completely scratched and turned out to be a $1 million winner.

Jones' lawyer, Winston Collier, says Jones has removed used tickets from Petriches stack before without drawing an objection.

A judge has ordered Jones to not spend the prize money until the case is resolved.

The lottery offers secondary prizes for players who register their losing tickets online.

Information from: The Daily Citizen,

Channel Seven's Katherina Yancy will have more on Nightside.