$1,000 Scratch-off scandal: Arkansas woman accused of stealing lottery tickets

The luck ran out for this Arkansas woman!

$1,000 Scratch-off scandal: Arkansas woman accused of stealing lottery tickets

An Arkansas woman may have had some scratch-off winners to turn in, but she reportedly got the tickets by stealing them while at work!

Theft while on the clock

The gig was up for this Paragould woman, who has been accused of stealing the scratch-off tickets from her place of employment.

Now the woman, 25-year-old Erin Hammond, is facing lottery fraud, a Class D felony, after Green County District Judge Daniel Stidham found probable cause in the case.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by KAIT, the Paragould store's surveillance cameras captured Hammond, who was an employee, going into the dispenser and taking 

Lottery tickets on multiple occasions without actually paying for them.

Once Hammond stole the tickets, she would then scratch off the tickets and cash in any of the winning tickets, Detective Corporal Aaron Gamber said.

Court documents state Hammond reportedly did this multiple times between June 7 and June 13. The store reported a loss of $995 in lottery tickets.

Video surveillance proof

According to officials, the store, which was not named, reported the thefts to the Paragould Police Department on July 3. The store also “provided video surveillance to corroborate” the accusations.

Hammond was interviewed by police, and she reportedly “made incriminating statements,” the affidavit states.

Hammond was arrested and charged with lottery fraud, authorities said. She was booked into the Greene County Detention Center and was being held on a $10,000 bond.

Judge Stidham also ordered Hammond to have no contact with the store or any other person involved in the matter.

Other Arkansans hoping for some lottery luck

While Hammond was caught allegedly scamming the Arkansas Lottery, other players out there in the state are hoping for some good luck when it comes to some of the state draw games tonight.

The Natural State Jackpot, which transitioned to daily drawings in April 2024 to produce higher, faster-growing jackpots, has made its way up to $600,000. This is the largest jackpot ever for NSJ, with the previous highs being $520,000, which was won in June 2022, and $510,000, which was won in October 2023. The NSJ tickets cost $1, and the drawing will take place tonight at 8:00 p.m. CT, with ticket sales closing at 7:59 p.m. CT.

Also drawn tonight is the LOTTO draw game, in which the jackpot is currently sitting at $2.59 million. This is a record-breaking jackpot for LOTTO. The jackpot has been on the rise each draw since it was last hit in September 2023. The previous biggest LOTTO jackpot was $2.34 million, which was won by a Sebastian County resident in May 2023. LOTTO tickets cost $2, and the drawing takes place tonight at 9:00 p.m. CT, with ticket sales closing at 8:59 p.m. CT.

If you are still needing your tickets for tonight's draws, you can purchase them at any licensed Arkansas Lottery retailer or on the Arkansas Lottery website.

Enjoy playing the Arkansas Lottery, and please remember to play responsibly.


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