An Arkansas woman who threw away a $1 million winning lottery ticket told the "Today" show Friday that she does not feel bad for Sharon Jones, the woman who found the ticket, claimed the money and will now have to pay back the nearly $190,000 she has spent.
“I don’t feel bad for her,’’ Sharon Duncan, the purchaser of the winning ticket, said in an interview with Ann Curry.
Duncan appeared on "Today" alongside the manager of the convenience store where the ticket was purchased, and their lawyer. Curry pointed out that Jones and her husband are out of work and financially struggling and asked if under any circumstances Duncan would consider not making Jones pay back the money, to which she replied, "No ... Because it's my money. I deserve the money, not her."
The highly publicized finders-keepers story began in July when Duncan allegedly scanned her lottery ticket at the Super 1 Stop in the town of Beebe only to be told she was not a winner. Another Arkansas Sharon -- Sharon Jones -- combed through the bin of discarded tickets at that store and retrieved Duncan's ticket, which was worth $1 million. Jones cashed in the ticket and has since paid off old debts, purchased a new truck and given tens of thousands of dollars to her children.
According to the Associated Press, the Arkansas Lottery Commission has said that there are no problems with their equipment, but a judge still ruled last week that Duncan is the rightful owner of the ticket. That means Jones will have to repay the money. Neither she nor her husband are currently working, and their lawyer told the Associated Press that there is no way the couple can afford to pay back what they would owe, should their appeal fall through.
But on "Today," Duncan maintained that she would never have tossed the ticket if the scanner had not told her she was not a winner.
"I've always scanned my tickets two, three times," she said. "If that would have said winner, I would have kept my ticket."
Duncan also made clear that she has no plans to share any of her winnings with Lisa Petriches, the manager of the convenience store where she bought the winning ticket.
"No, it's my money. I think I deserve it," she said.
Jones, for her part, told "Today" she was stunned by the judge's decision.
"I just didn't think justice was done because I mean, trash is trash," she said. "I couldn't believe that he went that way."
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