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Lottery Jackpot Snagged From Trash

Karrie Jeremiah pulled a discarded lottery ticket from a restaurant trash can and hit the jackpot.

Two other people had purchased the $5 Hoosier Lottery scratch-off ticket last week at the Chaperral Cafe. When a clerk at the downtown cafe told them it wasn't the $40 winner they were hoping for, they threw it away, lottery officials said.

It wasn't a $40 winner - it was a $100,000 winner.

Jeremiah said she wondered whether the numbers were completely checked before the ticket was tossed.

"Who would ever throw this ticket in the trash knowing it was a $100,000 hit?" she said.

Lottery security director Ellen Corcella said the cafe clerk had not checked for any winning combinations other than for $40.

Lottery officials on Feb. 10 issued Jeremiah a check for $71,600 - the amount after taxes were withheld.

Corcella said the lottery was looking into the circumstances surrounding the ticket, but believed Jeremiah was the rightful winner.

"If I drop $100,000 in the street and walk away and the next person picks it up, it's their money," she said.

Mark McNeely, an attorney for cafe owner Shirley Bailey, said lottery officials had been negligent by not providing adequate training. "Let's focus on the real issues and not try to cast all of our blame on this little merchant here in Shelbyville when the lack of training may have been the issue that caused the problem to begin with," he said.

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