Mandy Vanhouten, who works at the Sportsman Drive-In in Stuttgart scratched off a $10 Fortune instant ticket and won the $300,000 top prize. However, a co-worker claimed that half the winnings belong to her, KARK reported.
Leslie Underwood, who works the same shift as Vanhouten, said their boss bought a roll of scratch-offs to give his waitresses as Christmas presents.
“He told us whatever we won, it would be split between us for our Christmas bonus,” Underwood told KARK.
Underwood said the two waitresses scratched off five tickets apiece, and Vanhouten hit the big prize.
“We were both reading the back of it trying to find the little, ‘You're pranked!’" Underwood told KARK. “But no, it was a real one.”
Underwood said she and Vanhouten were going to claim the money together in the new year. She was surprised Wednesday when she saw a photograph of Vanhouten holding the check.
“She decided to take it and run,” Underwood told KARK.
She hasn't heard from Vanhouten, who has not returned voicemail messages. Since winning the ticket, she also has not returned to work.
Underwood said her boss predicted that the waitresses’ friendship would splinter because of the lottery winnings.
“(He) 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 (he said). Now we see.’”
Underwood is considering legal action, but it might be tough to claim a share. Vanhouten is the only person who signed the back of the ticket, KARK reported.