$75,000 lottery ticket was almost a gift for winner's ex-father-in-law

Paula Penn said the scratch-off lottery ticket that earned her a $75,000 prize had almost been a gift for her ex-father-in-law, but it didn't fit inside the envelope. Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

Sept. 8 (UPI) -- An Arkansas woman said the lottery ticket that earned her a $75,000 jackpot almost ended up as a gift to her ex-father-in-law.

Paula Penn of Texarkana told Arkansas Scholarship Lottery officials she bought some scratch-off tickets from EZ Mart on Jefferson Avenue in Texarkana with the intention of gifting them to her ex-father-in-law for his birthday.

Penn said she ended up keeping a $75,000 Jewels ticket because it wouldn't fit in the envelope with his birthday card and other tickets.

"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."

She ended up scratching the ticket off at work and discovered it was a $75,000 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.

Penn said she was amused that the winning ticket had almost been a gift.

"My ex-father-in-law is definitely going to get a kick out of this story," she said.

The winner said her prize money will allow her to pay off her debt and take a vacation.

"I can also quit my second job as an Uber driver," she said.