Lottery ticket didn’t fit in birthday card — so she kept it for herself and won big

After buying scratch-off lottery tickets to stuff in her ex-father-in-law’s birthday card, an Arkansas woman realized they weren’t all going to fit in the envelope.

That’s when Paula Penn decided to keep one of the tickets — $75,000 Jewels — for herself, according to a Sept. 7 news release from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.

“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.”

While at work later that day, the Texarkana woman scratched her $3 ticket and learned she had won the game’s top prize of $75,000, according to the release.

“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 when claiming her winnings. “My ex-father-in-law is definitely going to get a kick out of this story.”

With her newfound cash, she plays to pay off debt and take a vacation, officials said. She’ll also be able to quit her second job — working as an Uber driver.

Texarkana is in the southwest corner of Arkansas.

Many people can gamble or play games of chance without harm. However, for some, gambling is an addiction that can ruin lives and families.

If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.

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