Leslie Underwood, who works as a waitress at an Arkansas restaurant, says she was devastated after her $300G scratch off ticket was allegedly stolen by her co-worker. Underwood claims that her co-worker, Mandy Vanhouten, owes her a lot of cash. According to a report from local news station KARK, the waitresses were given some scratch offs by their boss and he told them that any winnings should be divided among them as a Christmas bonus.
“He told us whatever we won, it would be split between us for our Christmas bonus,” Underwood was quoted as saying.”She handed me five and she had five.”
Underwood says she and Vanhouten divide their tips every day. However, splitting a $300,000 lottery ticket is a different matter.
Vanhouten, who also works at the Sportsman Drive-In in Stuttgart, Arkansas, scratched off a Fortune instant ticket and won the $300,000 jackpot. The women were shocked after seeing how much they had won.
“We were both reading the back of it trying to find the little, ‘You’re pranked!,’” Underwood told the publication. “But no, it was a real one.”
Underwood said that she and Vanhouten were going to claim the money together in the new year. However, Mandy decided to take matters into her own hands and went to collect the prize herself. Leslie found out when she saw a photo of her friend smiling from ear to ear while holding a huge check.
“She decided to take it and run,” Underwood said.
As of the time of this writing, she has not heard from her, and Vanhouten has not returned any voice messages. Another employee was covering Vanhouten’s shifts while she continued to be absent and since she won the ticket, she has not returned to work.
Underwood said her boss predicted that the friendship of the waitresses would splinter because of their winning the lottery.
“Lucky [manager] told us here at the bar, ‘Y’all won’t be friends after this.’ We were like, ‘Why would you say that?,’” Underwood said. “Money changes people. Now we see.”
To add salt to the wound, Underwood said she was best friends with Vanhouten for two decades and helped her get the job at the restaurant.
“I helped her get the job, put in a good word, stuck my neck out for her, let her stay with me so she didn’t have to drive back and forth,” she stated. “I think that’s what hurt me the most is as much as I’ve done, she could have done right for once.”
Underwood is considering legal action, but her case could be difficult to prove because Vanhouten is the only person who signed the back of the ticket, KARK reported.