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SoCal man sues to get share of $315 million lottery jackpot

Topic closed. 71 replies. Last post 11 years ago by cps10.

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The Carolinas - Charlotte
United States
Member #21627
September 12, 2005
4138 Posts
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Posted: December 18, 2005, 9:37 pm - IP Logged

I would have never started this pool unless there was some serious interest in players that were serious about participating. Before I started it, I would tell people about how I would go back and forth to Ohio (my in-laws live there), and buy Virginia Lottery (before LottoSouth), MegaMillions (then the Big Game), Powerball in WV, the Ohio SuperLotto, and a friend in Cali that bought their lottery. Because the jackpots got so high, my co-workers got jealous because they weren't driving anywhere to get tickets. And this was before the SC Lottery was formed. So, a bunch of them asked me to buy them tickets when I would go (I would buy 20 draws at a time since I didn't know if I would go up a whole lot. So after enough people asked, I just said let's do a pool. It would increase our chances together and they would be able to participate.

Well, then I had heard about all the pitfalls and dangers of people suing and all that, so I did my research to find out all of the little things that people would grumble or potentially sue about, and I nipped it in the bud with the rules that ALL must sign. It included payments when they are due, the fact that we roll our small winnings into future tickets for larger jackpots, and other things that could trigger some legal action (see my posts in this thread about this before). And we agreed to terminate the pool in the event of a jackpot win, to stop any potential leeches from getting in after we won the Big One.

It has been very good...provides comraderie, and heartache (there are a lot of people that want to quit our office! LOL), and it's something to talk about with people you normally don't associate with on a normal basis at work.

I got lucky I guess and thought ahead, so all is good.

If anyone is interested, you are more than welcome to join. We have several people that aren't from our office, and they enjoy it too. However, if you want to join, be prepared to pay on time and to sign many papers to make it "legal"

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    United States
    Member #27625
    December 4, 2005
    88 Posts
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    Posted: December 18, 2005, 10:21 pm - IP Logged

    I would have never started this pool unless there was some serious interest in players that were serious about participating. Before I started it, I would tell people about how I would go back and forth to Ohio (my in-laws live there), and buy Virginia Lottery (before LottoSouth), MegaMillions (then the Big Game), Powerball in WV, the Ohio SuperLotto, and a friend in Cali that bought their lottery. Because the jackpots got so high, my co-workers got jealous because they weren't driving anywhere to get tickets. And this was before the SC Lottery was formed. So, a bunch of them asked me to buy them tickets when I would go (I would buy 20 draws at a time since I didn't know if I would go up a whole lot. So after enough people asked, I just said let's do a pool. It would increase our chances together and they would be able to participate.

    Well, then I had heard about all the pitfalls and dangers of people suing and all that, so I did my research to find out all of the little things that people would grumble or potentially sue about, and I nipped it in the bud with the rules that ALL must sign. It included payments when they are due, the fact that we roll our small winnings into future tickets for larger jackpots, and other things that could trigger some legal action (see my posts in this thread about this before). And we agreed to terminate the pool in the event of a jackpot win, to stop any potential leeches from getting in after we won the Big One.

    It has been very good...provides comraderie, and heartache (there are a lot of people that want to quit our office! LOL), and it's something to talk about with people you normally don't associate with on a normal basis at work.

    I got lucky I guess and thought ahead, so all is good.

    If anyone is interested, you are more than welcome to join. We have several people that aren't from our office, and they enjoy it too. However, if you want to join, be prepared to pay on time and to sign many papers to make it "legal"

     This is the only way to do it. Read my Blog regarding Lottery Pools. I think the more formally you tie it up, the better all the way around, especially if you Win. My ideas about Pool governance include a stipulation which states that if a Pool Member fails to make  two payments in a row on time he/she is dropped permanantly from the Pool-eliminate the dead wood. I also have a BINDING ARBITRATION AGREEMENT included.

    I injected a few snappy catches that could contractually foul up a real dead-beat jerk who might get creepy after a WIN. Check it out...Best Of Luck!

      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
      mid-Ohio
      United States
      Member #9
      March 24, 2001
      19831 Posts
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      Posted: December 18, 2005, 11:46 pm - IP Logged

      99% of the time lottery pools work fine because 99% of the time they don't win anything.  It's that 1% of the time that they or someone associated with one win a large prize that the trouble starts.  If your pool has never won anything then it has never been tested.

       * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
         
                   Evil Looking       

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        Huntsville AL
        United States
        Member #16531
        June 1, 2005
        65 Posts
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        Posted: December 19, 2005, 10:07 am - IP Logged

        when I do a pool and buy for my self I go to another store to buy my private tickets or have some one else buy from th emachine so mine are not in line with th epool tickets

          cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
          The Carolinas - Charlotte
          United States
          Member #21627
          September 12, 2005
          4138 Posts
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          Posted: December 19, 2005, 11:25 am - IP Logged

          when I do a pool and buy for my self I go to another store to buy my private tickets or have some one else buy from th emachine so mine are not in line with th epool tickets

          h - it shouldn't matter where you buy your tickets, so long as your Pool members know which ones are yours and which ones are theirs. Post all numbers at all times to prevent any kind of problems.

            cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
            The Carolinas - Charlotte
            United States
            Member #21627
            September 12, 2005
            4138 Posts
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            Posted: December 19, 2005, 11:27 am - IP Logged
            This is the only way to do it. Read my Blog regarding Lottery Pools. I think the more formally you tie it up, the better all the way around, especially if you Win. My ideas about Pool governance include a stipulation which states that if a Pool Member fails to make  two payments in a row on time he/she is dropped permanantly from the Pool-eliminate the dead wood. I also have a BINDING ARBITRATION AGREEMENT included.

            I injected a few snappy catches that could contractually foul up a real dead-beat jerk who might get creepy after a WIN. Check it out...Best Of Luck!

            I agree with this completely. I do have that in there, but I haven't kicked anyone out yet. Most people who are 2 or 3 payments behind generally pay up within a reasonable time frame. I will check your blog to see about your other catches, that sounds interesting.

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              NY
              United States
              Member #23835
              October 16, 2005
              3475 Posts
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              Posted: December 19, 2005, 12:19 pm - IP Logged

              cps10 wrote:

              << I haven't kicked anyone out yet. Most people who are 2 or 3 payments behind generally pay up within a reasonable time frame. >>

               

              If you don't enforce your own rules why would you expect a court to enforce them for you if there's a dispute? You're the one that's setting the precedent that somebody's lawyer will cite if you happen to win shortly after dropping somebody.

              As for buying  tickets separately from the pool, they should always be bought at a different place in a purchase that can't possibly be confused with the purchase of the pool tickets. If the agreement says that pool tickets are always bought at Billy Bob's Deli (and it should definitely specify where tickets will be bought)  it will be that much harder for anyone to press a claim if you produce a winner that was bought at Bobby Sue's Gas and Go.

                cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
                The Carolinas - Charlotte
                United States
                Member #21627
                September 12, 2005
                4138 Posts
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                Posted: December 19, 2005, 2:10 pm - IP Logged

                Floyd,

                I see your point on that.

                Going back to dropping people...it states in the rules that people that are late with their payments are not entitled to the winnings, so that works for our pool. Kicking someone out because their lazy takes away more tickets to win. Like I said, people end up paying their dues, but even if they are a day late in paying, if the jackpot hits, they get nothing. That's the way it is. That's the chance they take by being late.

                  konane's avatar - wallace
                  Atlanta, GA
                  United States
                  Member #1265
                  March 13, 2003
                  3333 Posts
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                  Posted: December 19, 2005, 2:31 pm - IP Logged

                  Floyd,

                  I see your point on that.

                  Going back to dropping people...it states in the rules that people that are late with their payments are not entitled to the winnings, so that works for our pool. Kicking someone out because their lazy takes away more tickets to win. Like I said, people end up paying their dues, but even if they are a day late in paying, if the jackpot hits, they get nothing. That's the way it is. That's the chance they take by being late.

                  I believe he's making a point of law with his statement as to how the court would look at the precedent set by those actions if it went that far.

                  Good luck to everyone!

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                    Bethesda, Maryland
                    United States
                    Member #16901
                    June 6, 2005
                    446 Posts
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                    Posted: December 19, 2005, 2:53 pm - IP Logged

                    It does not take much for some people to feel connected to a lottery winner enough to share their money.  The last time I collected $500 from a lottery ticket the clerk asked jokily about her share.  I think she might have thought saying "good luck" when I bought my tickets qualified her as my partner when I won. 

                    More and more I see stories of people who have some association (co-worker, neighbor  or friend) with groups or person who has won a lottery jackpot, claiming they would have contributed to buying the tickets had they only known they would would finally win therefore they are entitled to part of their winnings.

                    HEY "RJ".....12/19/05

                    You should have"jokingly" suggested she get on line behind "Uncle Sam & the Bill Collectors"lolo

                      LottoPools's avatar - bee
                      Houston, TX
                      United States
                      Member #4496
                      April 29, 2004
                      71 Posts
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                      Posted: December 19, 2005, 5:33 pm - IP Logged
                      This used to happen in a pool I played in.  Player X would be out on the day the tickets were purchased and we would have to decide what to do.  Usually someone would cover for them and accept responsibility for getting their money back.  If nobody wanted to spot them, and we couldn’t reach them by phone, they were out.  Looking back now, if we had won when a situation like this happened, it probably would have gone to court.  We were coworkers and got along pretty well but money definitely changes people.  Besides, the person that’s left out has family/friends that may influence any decision to sue.

                       

                      I think it is important to play with people you trust. That being said, given human nature, you’d better have a way to keep things nice and tidy.  I’m in a new pool at a new job and because people kept forgetting to buy when it was their turn, I now buy the tickets for our pool.  We each pay $5.00 in advance and the numbers are sent out via email in a format that includes the rules about playing numbers outside of the pool, which we all do.  Those emails also include the effective dates and names of people leaving or joining the pool.   Right now, we are paid thru 1-27-06 and I will collect the money for the next rotation well in advance.  But of course, we WILL win before that’s necessary!

                       

                      Pools aren’t bad, you just have to remember that the players are human and subject to turn greedy at any time; that applies to friends, family, and co-workers.

                      ________________________

                      Playing together to make a splash in the pool of lottery winners.  It's just a matter of time.

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                        United States
                        Member #27625
                        December 4, 2005
                        88 Posts
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                        Posted: December 19, 2005, 6:34 pm - IP Logged

                         Agree to pool rules and stick to them. I would be very cautious about two important areas when running a Pool. Firstly have strict contribution rules and enforcement of the "failure to contribute" situation. This one point seems to be the number one point of contention in the lawsuits we read about. Secondly, I feel very strongly that the Pool Manager should avoid any suspicion of impropriety by avoiding buying his own tickets outside the Pool. There's a real conflict of interest situation if the Pool Manager wins a 200 million dollar Jackpot and leaves his Pool buddies in the dust, stating "they were my tickets, not the Pools". Not that anything unethical or illegal actually occured, but you are giving the gold digging contingency fee lawyers a reason to file a lawsuit. You are taking too much of a chance in my opinion. If the Pool Manager buys his own tickets at a different store that is some protection for him, but when a quarter of a billion dollars is at stake the lawyers will go for it anyway...and try to get the Court to rule against you on some whacky technicality of "fairplay" or "conflict of interest" etc. It's wise when dealing with other people's money to absolutely avoid any appearance of impropriety. Even if the Manager wins the suit, is that what you want do for two years after you win a Lottery Jackpot? Spend it in Court fighting with a bunch of bitter ex-pals? Avoid the problem, stick solely with your Pool.

                          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                          Wandering Aimlessly
                          United States
                          Member #25360
                          November 5, 2005
                          4461 Posts
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                          Posted: December 19, 2005, 8:55 pm - IP Logged

                          Floyd,

                          I see your point on that.

                          Going back to dropping people...it states in the rules that people that are late with their payments are not entitled to the winnings, so that works for our pool. Kicking someone out because their lazy takes away more tickets to win. Like I said, people end up paying their dues, but even if they are a day late in paying, if the jackpot hits, they get nothing. That's the way it is. That's the chance they take by being late.

                          I believe he's making a point of law with his statement as to how the court would look at the precedent set by those actions if it went that far.

                          I agree. Although kicking people out with rigid rules might lower the total amount of money in the pool, if you let someone skip a drawing once in a while and then "catch up" a judge might award the winning prize even if he didn't play that week. Sure many of us are struggling and some people might run short of cash, but if we're only talking about a few dollars, then anyone who can't afford $5 a week probably shouldn't be gambling. (She types as she eats her Ramen noodles.) 

                          As others have stated, if I were in a pool I would make it very clear that my personal numbers would not be included. Since I keep my tickets for a year, I guess walking in with a shoebox should be enough proof! However, if I wanted to play them along with some others and a few QPs, I would probably go a step further than simply buying them in a different store.  I'd go to a different town!   

                          All this chat about pools has changed my mind.  Too many potential problems.

                           

                            cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
                            The Carolinas - Charlotte
                            United States
                            Member #21627
                            September 12, 2005
                            4138 Posts
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                            Posted: December 19, 2005, 9:03 pm - IP Logged

                            Demonter - I will probably change my rules slightly to take care of the deadbeats, but I also agree with playing with people you trust. I trust everyone in my Pool fortunately, but like has been said before, money changes people. I am usually the one that covers the people that are late, and I trust them enough to pay me back, which they have not had a problem doing that. But really technically, the pool's winnings are covering them since that money is rolled over anyway. I don't know...I guess I need to revisit our rules. Is it worth an extra $100,000 per person to keep just to enforce a rule and kick someone out when we are talking millions in prize money anyway? And perhaps maybe lose that money in a court battle? I guess it's all about weighing the options. Everyone in my pools pay and I would at least take their past due payments out of their cut if we won. Lots to weigh.

                            Thanks for all of the very positive advice. That's what I like most about LP...great perspective from a lot of fun lottery players. Thanks again all!

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                              NY
                              United States
                              Member #23835
                              October 16, 2005
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                              Posted: December 20, 2005, 2:10 am - IP Logged

                              cps10 wrote:
                              << But really technically, the pool's winnings are covering them since that money is rolled over anyway. I don't know...I guess I need to revisit our rules. Is it worth an extra $100,000 per person to keep just to enforce a rule and kick someone out when we are talking millions in prize money anyway? And perhaps maybe lose that money in a court battle? >>

                              If somebody didn't pay and that's being covered by winnings that are rolled over into future ticket purchases, then everybody in the pool is chipping in for those who didn't pay. If your rules say that people who didn't pay before the drawing don't share in winning from that drawing I now see two problems. The first is not following your own rules. In my previous post I was thinking more about throwing people out of the pool, and more on that below, but now you're creating a precedent for somebody to collect even though they didn't pay for a drawing in which you won. The second problem is your intent for any winnings that result from tickets purchased with previous winnings. Suppose Fred doesn't chip in this Wednesday and you win $7 that everybody agrees he isn't supposed to share in. Because your policy is to roll small winnings over into future ticket purchases, you buy an extra $7 for the Saturday drawing, and  you win $25 million bucks. With the *last* ticket that came out of the machine. One that was clearly bought with the extra $7. Does everybody in your pool agree that Fred is entitled to a share, even though it seems obvious that he never chipped in on the cost of that ticket? I think you've demonstrated precedent that should result in a decision in his favor if it goes to court, and if you try not to pay him you can be sure it will go to court for that much money.

                              As for dropping somebody from the pool, if you haven't followed the rules in the past you could have a hard time if you do drop somebody and then win. Fred, who is the usual problem, misses his payments for two or three consecutive drawings every 6 or 7 weeks. Since he always makes good by the fourth drawing, you don't drop him even though your written rules say that people will be dropped if they miss two consecutive draws. After a year of always paying on time, John misses two payments, and takes a month to make good. Three months later he misses two draws again, and since you're having a bad day you drop him from the pool. For the next drawing he tries to pay his share and be reinstated, but you tell him no. And you win $25 million. Your case probably won't even make it to court, because when your defense attorney hears the story he's going to tell you you'll probably lose.

                              Of course you'll probably never have to deal with that sport of situation. We only hear about these disputes once in a while, but I guarantee that there are disputes all the time that we never hear about because they are for smaller prizes. Based on the odds, for every pool that wins the jackpot there are about 41 that win $200,000 and 250 that win $10,000. Let's say your pool has 9 people and the dispute results in a claim that the money should be split 10 ways. Before losing some to taxes you're looking at $22,222 vs $20,000 or $1,111 vs $1000. It won't be profitable to pay a lawyer to try and get $1000, but it would be worth a $6700 contingency fee to get $20,000. Would you spend $500 each (of after tax money), regardless of whether you win or lose to try and keep the $2,222 (before taxes) you'd lose by sharing?

                              I think the odds of winning a big prize are slim enough that it probably doesn't make sense to hire a lawyer to review your rules, but you should think about the possible problems, and strictly follow whatever rules you decide on. Unless you win a significant jackpot you're probably still going to be coworkers with anybody you have a dispute with. Nothing will guarantee that you don't have a dispute, but if it's covered fairly clearly in the rules you should have an easier time of it.