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Woman surprised by lotto ticket ruling

May 7, 2012 at 4:59 PM

BEEBE, Ark., May 8 (UPI) -- An Arkansas woman who pulled a $1 million lottery ticket from the trash said she was surprised a judge ruled she isn't entitled to the winnings.

Sharon Jones, who found the ticket last July, worth $680,000 after taxes, in the trash at a convenience store in Beebe, told NBC's "Today" show Monday she was shocked last week when a judge ruled in favor of Sharon Duncan, the woman who tossed the ticket after a machine at the store told her it was not a winner.

Jones and her attorney, Jimmy Simpson, say they plan to appeal the decision, NBC News reported Monday.

"I was surprised [at the ruling], but I think that everything will be fine," Jones said.

"[The judge] basically ruled that she abandoned the paper the ticket is, but that she did not abandon the claim to it that she gained with her purchase of the $20 ticket," Simpson said.

Jones said she and her husband are both unemployed and have already spent $190,000 of the prize money. She said they would not be able to immediately repay the money.

"There's no way that I can figure it out right now, but I'd have to, I guess, if it came down to it," Jones said.

An attorney representing Duncan and the convenience store declined to comment, NBC said.

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