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Lottery's biggest loser: Albany man passed on office pool that won $319M jackpot

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Lottery's biggest loser: Albany man passed on office pool that won $319M jackpot
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Includes video report

Man could have been 8th winner; decided not to play because he didn't feel lucky

The group of seven lottery pool players that won last week's $319 million Mega Millions jackpot could have had an eighth member, but one unlucky man made a choice that cost him millions.

The New York co-worker who regularly played in the office pool opted out on the night they had the winning ticket, according to an Albany, N.Y., deli owner who knows the winners.

"They asked him a couple of times, and he didn't feel lucky," said Jill Cook, owner of Cook's Deli, where the group often comes for lunch.

She said she heard the news through buzz from the nearby office, adding that she felt "terrible" for the man.

The winners, apparently a group of New York state government IT professionals, have yet to come forward publicly to claim the prize. But lottery officials say they'll attend a news conference Thursday.

So far, the officials said, the winners have been huddling with lawyers and financial advisers as they prepare to split a jackpot worth $202.9 million after taxes, if they take the lump sum.

The group of seven includes a mix of older and younger employees who often bought lottery tickets together, Cook said.

The group didn't turn up for work Monday, Cook said, adding that she heard they have already quit their jobs. Many people who know them say the winning ticket couldn't have gone to better folks.

"It was a blessing to hear that they won. They're great, down-to-earth people," Cook said, adding that she didn't expect the group to squabble over the money.

Lottery isn't always lucky

If there's any solace for the unlucky man who opted out, it may be the knowledge that big lottery jackpots sometimes come with big problems. All too often, winners can't handle the changes that come with an outsize check.

Take, for example, Jack Whittaker, who won the largest individual payout in lottery history, worth $315 million. After accepting the prize, Whittaker was sued, divorced and arrested for a DUI, among other wrenching family problems.

"It has certainly been a curse to me," Whittaker told ABC News.

Lottery money can't buy you everything

Big jackpot winners can also face family problems and kidnap threats, not to mention a parade of people who come out of the woodwork expecting help.

And even for those who can handle the money, there's also the simple truth that money can't buy you everything.

In Albany, Cook said she's happy for the winners. But if they come back to her deli for lunch, she said, they won't necessarily get special treatment.

"Just because you're millionaires," she said, "doesn't mean we're not going to screw up your food."

http://media.lpimg.com/2011033101.mp4

ABC News

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73 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by Win$500Quick.
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sully16's avatar - sharan
Ringleader
Michigan
United States
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Posted: March 31, 2011, 8:45 am - IP Logged

He said he wasn't feeling lucky, well he was right.

Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

For a lead role in a cage?

 

                                            From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

    Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
    FEMA Region V Camp #21
    United States
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    Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:01 am - IP Logged

    He said he wasn't feeling lucky, well he was right.

    HA!  Exactly right, sully.

    Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).


      BuyLow's avatar - palm tree.jpg
      Florida
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      Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:01 am - IP Logged

      Wonder if his attorneys can make him feel more lucky? Or if, perhaps, the other seven will do the right thing and share with him?? Jester

        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
        United States
        Member #73904
        April 28, 2009
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        Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:02 am - IP Logged

        "In Albany, Cook said she's happy for the winners. But if they come back to her deli for lunch, she said, they won't necessarily get special treatment.

        "Just because you're millionaires," she said, "doesn't mean we're not going to screw up your food."

         

        Green laugh


                                                     
                             
                                                 

         

         

         

         

                                                                                                           

        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

         

         

          B$Rizzle's avatar - a4leds
          The Ville, FL
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          Member #95879
          August 19, 2010
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          Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:03 am - IP Logged

          If I was in a lottery group and one person opted out that one week (but played normally) I would give that person some of the winnings. I would create a contract/agreement that even though they opted out that one week, if the pool each gave that person a certain amount, they can not sue for future money.

          Better yet, the BEST thing to do is have a contract from the very beginning, stating that in the lotto pool, a player is only able to recieve winnings if they played in that days pool. Also the contract would state that if they choose to "opt out" of any future pools, they can not demand/sue for any winnings of a drawings they "opted out of"...

            B$Rizzle's avatar - a4leds
            The Ville, FL
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            Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:04 am - IP Logged

            "In Albany, Cook said she's happy for the winners. But if they come back to her deli for lunch, she said, they won't necessarily get special treatment.

            "Just because you're millionaires," she said, "doesn't mean we're not going to screw up your food."

             

            Green laugh

            lol I was wondering about that statement... Not sure how to take it though =)

              OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
              Gurnee, Illinois
              United States
              Member #49731
              February 12, 2007
              917 Posts
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              Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:05 am - IP Logged

              He is an unlucky fool...apparently he doesn't believe in the saying, "You can't win if you don't play!"  Well, now he knows that first hand to be true.  Also, I think people will say the PC thing when put on the spot with a TV camera and mike thrust in front of them.  As for me if I did (but I don't) participate in an office lottery pool, it would be clearly stated in our pool by-laws that if anyone opts out (non-contributor) for any drawing that nets a win of any size, that person is not entitled to any of the winnings.  But since I don't subscribe to lottery pools, I will never have that problem.

              One last thing....I think I would love to have any jackpot winners' problem than the problem of scrapping to get ahead.  For starters, I have no addiction to drugs so that will not be my downfall.  Additionally, I don't like strip clubs (I don't mind women who strip but I don't like the public venue and the "rules and expectations" that go along with those places), so I won't have good ol' Jack Whitaker's problems.  I also will not hold myself out there as the family relative or friend to go to for a "loan" which most people will automatically convert into a gift (never to be repaid).  My philosophy is unless you are my closest brother (and I only have one) or my mother (again, I only have one), then if you need money, by all means get in your car and go down to the bank or credit union you do business with and apply for a loan there.  I also will not be the money man for any business ideas (again, translation:  gift) and I will only give to certain non-profit organizations I personally select from MY OWN research and volition (translation:  don't waste your money soliciting me for donations to your charity).

              Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

              The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                B$Rizzle's avatar - a4leds
                The Ville, FL
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                Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:06 am - IP Logged

                Wonder if his attorneys can make him feel more lucky? Or if, perhaps, the other seven will do the right thing and share with him?? Jester

                I think they should all offer him some type of money, especially to take the burdon off their backs so they are not always wondering "man, is this dude going to try and sue us later?"

                 

                These situations in the past are known for holding up the winnings for a very long time. Sometimes even years before the pool gets their winnings. Just setup some type of agreement and get on with it

                  OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                  Gurnee, Illinois
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                  Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:08 am - IP Logged

                  Oh, and the 7 lucky winners did the right thing in quitting.  Now I think their next move after setting up their affairs to receive the mega dough would be to move the hell out of NY...preferably somewhere south.  That way, they would not have to worry about unlucky NUMBER 8 coming by unanounced to cause problems and get away from that deli where they might have to worry about what was done to their food.  NY sucks...it is only good for being lucky in winning the jackpot but otherwise NY sucks.

                  Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

                  The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                    tiparker119's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg
                    TyKi
                    South Carolina
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                    Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:13 am - IP Logged

                    He said he wasn't feeling lucky, well he was right.

                    I agree with sully16.....we have choices in this life...and on this particular day...he chose not to play because he said he did not feel lucky......therefore....life goes on...!!! 

                    "Those  Who  Bring  SunShine  To  The Lives  Of  Others.....Cannot  Keep  It  From  Themselves"

                      sully16's avatar - sharan
                      Ringleader
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                      Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:22 am - IP Logged

                      "In Albany, Cook said she's happy for the winners. But if they come back to her deli for lunch, she said, they won't necessarily get special treatment.

                      "Just because you're millionaires," she said, "doesn't mean we're not going to screw up your food."

                       

                      Green laugh

                      That is hilarious, Green laugh

                      Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

                      For a lead role in a cage?

                       

                                                                  From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

                        kalikgirl's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                        FREEPORT
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                        October 12, 2007
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                        Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:31 am - IP Logged

                        Nothing ventured nothing Gained!

                        KALIKGIRL

                          butterflykt's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

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                          Posted: March 31, 2011, 9:49 am - IP Logged

                          Wonder how hard it was for him to come into the office Monday....No way I coulda got out of bed!!!!!!!!

                          All things are possible to those that believe!!!!!!Wink

                            Avatar
                            Oak Creek WI
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                            Posted: March 31, 2011, 10:11 am - IP Logged

                            If you read the article, it said they asked him several times if he wanted to get in for the draw that night, he kept saying No he didn't feel lucky. So I don't Say no to any part of the Pot.

                            We had a pool in our Maintenance Dept. on 3rd shift I would go to Illinois at the time for tickets, it was made clear money had to be paid before I went for the tickets, everyone put in the same amount, we made up copies for everyone with the tickets front and backs after everyone signed the tickets that bought into the pot. Not one person signed the tickets. If you missed and the tickets would win it was your bad luck, any winnings we would decide what to do with the money depending on how much we won, which was never a lot. But when you have a group playing you have to make it clear the rules, stick by them. Now I don't work, so I play on my own, it's easier that way, don't have to worry about someone saying you screwed them out of some money.