News / World

Arkansas woman says colleague owes her half of $300K lottery

STUTTGART, Ark. — An Arkansas woman filed a lawsuit alleging her co-worker ran off with her half of a $300,000 lottery prize and asking a judge to freeze part of the winnings until the dispute is settled.

Leslie Underwood filed the lawsuit Tuesday against Mandy Vanhouten, saying the women were friends and worked together as waitresses at Sportsman Drive-In in Stuttgart, about 50 miles (80 kilometres ) east of Little Rock.

The suit alleges that the women's boss, Steven Luckadoo, gave them several scratch-off tickets on Dec. 22 with the understanding the two would split any winnings. But Underwood said Vanhouten cashed in the winning ticket and never returned to work, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery said Vanhouten bought the winning $10 ticket at a Stuttgart liquor store and quoted her as saying she was going to use the prize "to make her life easier."

A listed phone number for Vanhouten could not be found.

The lawsuit asks Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chip Welch to put half the prize into a court-supervised bank account until he has decided whether Underwood is entitled to the share. Underwood also said she's entitled to a temporary restraining order to prevent Vanhouten from spending any of the money. If she spends the money before Welch decides Underwood is entitled to half, then it's not likely Vanhouten would be able to repay her, the lawsuit said.

No hearings have been scheduled.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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