Region & State

Lottery ticket almost gifted to ex-in-law makes TexARKana woman $75K richer

Paula Penn is $75,000 richer after she cashed in a lottery ticket she nearly gifted to her former father-in-law. | ASL photo

A Texarkana woman was stunned to discover that the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) ticket she almost gifted was worth $75,000

From the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

Paula Penn claimed the lottery prize Thursday at the ASL Claim Center in Little Rock. She won on the $3 $75,000 Jewels instant ticket.

Penn said she bought some scratch-off tickets for her ex-father-in-law this morning as a birthday gift from E-Z Mart #4363 at 3920 Jefferson Ave. in Texarkana. She only decided to keep the $75,000 Jewels ticket for herself after realizing all the purchased tickets would not fit in his birthday envelope.

“That ticket really stood out to me because of the diamonds on it,” Penn told lottery officials. “I love diamond mining in my spare time.”

The Arkansan was at work when she discovered the ticket was a winner.

“I asked my boss and co-workers to confirm the win, and the owner gave me permission to leave for the day to come to Little Rock to redeem my prize,” Penn said. “My ex-father-in-law is definitely going to get a kick out of this story,” she chuckled.

Penn plans to pay off her debt and vacation later this year with her lottery winnings.

“I can also quit my second job as an Uber driver,” she added.  

Players have two chances to become a multi-millionaire this week with Powerball® and Mega Millions® jackpots totaling more than $600 million. The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday night’s drawing is $122 million. The Powerball jackpot for Saturday night’s drawing has reached $500 million.

With no LOTTO jackpot winner since May, the lottery’s grand prize continues to soar and sits at $977,000 for Saturday night.

LOTTO is an Arkansas-only jackpot game with drawings every Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets are $2 per play and can be purchased at all lottery retailers or on the Jackpocket app. For game odds and winning numbers, visit