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In group lottery wins, splitting the spoils tough

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: In group lottery wins, splitting the spoils tough
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Every once in a while a lottery jackpot becomes so huge that people can't help but band together in the hope of increasing their odds, pooling their money for a wad of tickets and promising to evenly split the spoils. Seems like a good idea until lightning strikes and the group wins.

Then the future involves not only luxury, but also lawsuits. Numerous group winners have been sued by people claiming to have pitched in for the ticket, creating messy fights over what money will be left once the attorneys are paid. And most state lotteries don't give much official guidance on how to avoid such problems.

On Monday, rumors swirled about the three people holding winning tickets from the record-breaking $656 million Mega Millions drawing Friday night.

Kansas, Illinois and Maryland each have a winner. But as of Monday night, no one — individual or group — had yet stepped forward.

The New York Post reported that one potential winner in Maryland was a McDonald's employee who claimed to hold the winning ticket as an individual, but also bought tickets for several people as part of a restaurant pool. If the woman does indeed have a winning ticket, it could trigger just the latest group lottery lawsuit.

Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Carole Everett says the agency doesn't put out any information for groups, though she recommends friends and colleagues who play together come up with a system, including copying and distributing the group tickets to pool members and making a list of people who are participating.

"That way there's no confusion or mistaking it," she said.

In Illinois, where one of the three winning tickets was purchased in the small town of Red Bud, Lottery spokesman Mike Lang also recommended advanced planning to stave off disputes.

"There have been disputed wins in just about every lottery in the country," Lang said.

That's when lawyers get involved.

New Jersey attorney Rubin Sinins recently represented five construction workers who claimed a colleague, Americo Lopes, cheated them out of their share of a $38.5 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2009. The group was part of a weekly lottery pool, but Lopes claimed he bought the winning ticket for himself. A unanimous jury in New Jersey decided otherwise in March and awarded the construction workers $4 million each. Sinins said his advice to people participating in an office pool is to "use common sense."

Resolving disputed group winnings can take years.

In 2010, colleagues at a Florida country club won $16 million in the state lottery but soon faced a lawsuit from one regular pool member who wasn't at the club the day money was collected for the tickets. Jeanette French played the lottery with colleagues for nine years, though the members of the group changed over time. Seven group members claimed the winning ticket, but a lawyer for French got her claimed portion of the winnings set aside in a trust which the two sides are now fighting over.

One of French's attorneys, Miami lawyer Eric Shane, suggested that pool participants establish written rules and consider having each player sign the rules. He also suggested trying to keep pool members consistent. But his real advice?

"My true advice, honestly, would be don't do a pool," Shane said.

Thanks to Coin Toss for the tip.

AP

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38 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by dallascowboyfan.
Page 1 of 3
dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
Oklahoma
United States
Member #82391
November 12, 2009
6290 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 4, 2012, 8:14 am - IP Logged

If you are in a pool it is very important that you document EVERTHING!!!!!

I Love Pink & Green 1908


    United States
    Member #111442
    May 25, 2011
    6323 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 4, 2012, 8:19 am - IP Logged

    Never join a pool!  Thinking of...Unless you want to get  Dunk    Once you hit that jackpot, then buy yourself a pool, or two!  Cheers

      maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-030.jpg
      Lavender Rocket

      United States
      Member #124616
      March 16, 2012
      2642 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 4, 2012, 8:30 am - IP Logged

      "My true advice, honestly, would be don't do a pool," Shane said.

      The fact that he gave the modifier 'true' to the word advice makes me wonder about his advice when he doesnt 'modify' it.  Yuck.  Lawyers are interesting creatures no matter how you cut it. 

      This story highlights why I do NOT do lottery-pools!

        jackpotismine's avatar - kanji for_peace.jpg
        Kunming
        China
        Member #57910
        January 23, 2008
        3626 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 4, 2012, 8:32 am - IP Logged

        Joining a pool is great ONLY if it's done right. If you watched the 20/20 special, the woman from the state lottery outline what is the way to run a pool. Check it out. If you have a disorganized pool, the results are disastrous!!

        Play to win!

          Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
          S.E.Iowa
          United States
          Member #120504
          December 21, 2011
          534 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 4, 2012, 8:50 am - IP Logged

          Pools are for fools!

          When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

          There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers


            Bahamas
            Member #114685
            August 5, 2011
            422 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 4, 2012, 9:12 am - IP Logged

            Pools are for fools!

            Plain and simple! The only sound advice is not participate in one. I am sure with rules people find loopholes. Someone didn't contriobute to a particular drawing when the pool won? What would that person have done if there was no win? Pay his/her way in retroactively? Hmmm...

             

            Well some of us are determined to be SUCKERS FOR PUNISHMENT!

            "Freedom of Speech? Keep reading and you will discover that freedom comes at a price!"

              rock_nc's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg
              small town USA
              United States
              Member #2481
              October 8, 2003
              224 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 4, 2012, 9:45 am - IP Logged

              Every once in a while a lottery jackpot becomes so huge that people can't help but band together in the hope of increasing their odds, pooling their money for a wad of tickets and promising to evenly split the spoils. Seems like a good idea until lightning strikes and the group wins.

              Then the future involves not only luxury, but also lawsuits. Numerous group winners have been sued by people claiming to have pitched in for the ticket, creating messy fights over what money will be left once the attorneys are paid. And most state lotteries don't give much official guidance on how to avoid such problems.

              On Monday, rumors swirled about the three people holding winning tickets from the record-breaking $656 million Mega Millions drawing Friday night.

              Kansas, Illinois and Maryland each have a winner. But as of Monday night, no one — individual or group — had yet stepped forward.

              The New York Post reported that one potential winner in Maryland was a McDonald's employee who claimed to hold the winning ticket as an individual, but also bought tickets for several people as part of a restaurant pool. If the woman does indeed have a winning ticket, it could trigger just the latest group lottery lawsuit.

              Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Carole Everett says the agency doesn't put out any information for groups, though she recommends friends and colleagues who play together come up with a system, including copying and distributing the group tickets to pool members and making a list of people who are participating.

              "That way there's no confusion or mistaking it," she said.

              In Illinois, where one of the three winning tickets was purchased in the small town of Red Bud, Lottery spokesman Mike Lang also recommended advanced planning to stave off disputes.

              "There have been disputed wins in just about every lottery in the country," Lang said.

              That's when lawyers get involved.

              New Jersey attorney Rubin Sinins recently represented five construction workers who claimed a colleague, Americo Lopes, cheated them out of their share of a $38.5 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2009. The group was part of a weekly lottery pool, but Lopes claimed he bought the winning ticket for himself. A unanimous jury in New Jersey decided otherwise in March and awarded the construction workers $4 million each. Sinins said his advice to people participating in an office pool is to "use common sense."

              Resolving disputed group winnings can take years.

              In 2010, colleagues at a Florida country club won $16 million in the state lottery but soon faced a lawsuit from one regular pool member who wasn't at the club the day money was collected for the tickets. Jeanette French played the lottery with colleagues for nine years, though the members of the group changed over time. Seven group members claimed the winning ticket, but a lawyer for French got her claimed portion of the winnings set aside in a trust which the two sides are now fighting over.

              One of French's attorneys, Miami lawyer Eric Shane, suggested that pool participants establish written rules and consider having each player sign the rules. He also suggested trying to keep pool members consistent. But his real advice?

              "My true advice, honestly, would be don't do a pool," Shane said.

              Thanks to Coin Toss for the tip.

              I had a lottery pool at work,we played the lottery when it was called the big game. We had members to go to Virginia to purchase our tickets every Wednesday,for the Fridays draw. When it came to SC we started to play POWERBALL there in SC. Now when POWERBALL got here in NC,we started to play here in NC. So you might say we have been playing close to 9 years,We had members to drop out,got new members to join. I always got them to read the rules,then sign the rule sheet,also gave them a copy of the rules. When I bought the tickets,I made copies of the tickets to give to the members who did'nt have a computer and e/m copies to the one's who had a computer for them to have each and every time we played. We had 10 members,paying 20.00 dollars a month each,we only played on Powerball drawing,every Saturday's draw,50.00 dollars worth of tickets with powerplay.Then when Mega millions came into NC,we played it too. Which ever game was the highest,that's the one we played. We never won anything large at all,but whatever we did win,we put it back in the pot for more tickets to play,along with the regular 50.00 dollars. I went out of work because of my disability,since I don't work there anymore,and trying to get a member to collect the lottery funds for us became a hassle to do. So I decided to drop out of the lottery pool. I e/m all the members and wrote letters to the other one's who did'nt have a computer. I told them they could elect someone to do it if they wish to continue playing. So last month,we did play our last draw on the March 30th drawing for the biggest Jackpot we had ever played on. 656 million dollars,we played our 50.00 dollars and we had 20.00 dollars left from some winning from a couple draws back. 70.00 dollars worth of tickets,NO WINS AT ALL on them tickets,but we all was sure dreaming of a BIG win. Our hopes was really high,cause we had a shot at winning it or at least winning 5 numbers correct. None of them dreams came true for us all. We had fun playing,thinking what we was going to do with our winning. But all that has came to an end. We had a great run,and I wish each of you the best in the future.....Party

                dpoly1's avatar - driver
                PA
                United States
                Member #66141
                October 16, 2008
                1672 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: April 4, 2012, 9:48 am - IP Logged

                If you really want to be in a pool ........... purchase one after you win by yourself!

                Dance

                dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                 

                Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                  CDanaT's avatar - tiger avatar_04_hd_pictures_169016.jpg
                  TX
                  United States
                  Member #121193
                  January 4, 2012
                  1637 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 4, 2012, 9:56 am - IP Logged

                  Plain and simple! The only sound advice is not participate in one. I am sure with rules people find loopholes. Someone didn't contriobute to a particular drawing when the pool won? What would that person have done if there was no win? Pay his/her way in retroactively? Hmmm...

                   

                  Well some of us are determined to be SUCKERS FOR PUNISHMENT!

                  GOLDEN RULE:    Pools WITHOUT RULES are for fools.

                  In the beginning,Lottery Pool intentions are great.
                  Give me your money for the drawing, but don't be late !
                  Its a buck a ticket,don't worry cause we can quick-pick it.
                  Our best friend will buy them for us cause he's first-rate.

                  No copies of tickets bought,,,, need to be made.
                  Because we are all friends and our trust will never fade
                  The jackpot millions  have created dreams by the Gazillions
                  We trust our friend to buy them for us cause he's always played

                  The winning numbers have been drawn and some of them look right
                  We call our friend to see if we won  last night
                  He claims "No, we did not".. thinking that lie wont be caught.
                  Then the greed sets in and we start the legal fight.

                  The lawsuit between friends is not enjoyable or cool
                  Anger,hatred and disgust is what we have towards this fool
                  Whether we lose or win, future mistrust of lottery pools has set in
                  I might have better better off had I listened to the Golden Rule


                   

                  Stay Positive, Believe and good things will come your way

                    dk1421's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
                    North Carolina
                    United States
                    Member #64582
                    September 1, 2008
                    347 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 4, 2012, 10:37 am - IP Logged

                    GOLDEN RULE:    Pools WITHOUT RULES are for fools.

                    In the beginning,Lottery Pool intentions are great.
                    Give me your money for the drawing, but don't be late !
                    Its a buck a ticket,don't worry cause we can quick-pick it.
                    Our best friend will buy them for us cause he's first-rate.

                    No copies of tickets bought,,,, need to be made.
                    Because we are all friends and our trust will never fade
                    The jackpot millions  have created dreams by the Gazillions
                    We trust our friend to buy them for us cause he's always played

                    The winning numbers have been drawn and some of them look right
                    We call our friend to see if we won  last night
                    He claims "No, we did not".. thinking that lie wont be caught.
                    Then the greed sets in and we start the legal fight.

                    The lawsuit between friends is not enjoyable or cool
                    Anger,hatred and disgust is what we have towards this fool
                    Whether we lose or win, future mistrust of lottery pools has set in
                    I might have better better off had I listened to the Golden Rule


                     

                    Awesome rhyme!!! Pure poetry!

                    I would play in a pool if my work had one. I mean, it's another chance at winning! 

                    Last week I bought 3 tickets for 2 co-workers as a pool. However, I had one come with me to the store. I bought the 3 tickets, marked them with a "K" in front of her, then bought my own tickets. Yet, the only other time I did this, again I had one of the two with me when I bought them and again marked it with a "K" - but did NOT buy any tickets for myself. I would buy again at the store later, but the timestamp would be different (several hours), hence, MY ticket and not theirs.

                    "Don't be a schmuck, always take the cash." -Coin Toss


                      United States
                      Member #125185
                      March 26, 2012
                      75 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: April 4, 2012, 10:51 am - IP Logged

                      Any problems with or among anyone would be a clear sign that something wasn't communicated - in writing. I made many lotto pools at my last job, and there were never any questions. And actually, I had made several pools, one for each of 2 or 3 departments.  And yes, I was in several pools at any time.

                      So, put it in writing, AND make some sort of clause that includes something to the effect of:

                      "this pool is only for people who fully understand the terms of this communal lotto, and who signify that by signing in one of the 20 spaces at the bottom of this page.  Each participant of this lotto agrees to not pursue any legal action against any member of this lotto pool. 

                      It may be the only way to be able to sleep at night, before a lotto.

                      I make the pool terms on one sheet, in MS Word, as it offers a ton of formatting options.


                        Bahamas
                        Member #114685
                        August 5, 2011
                        422 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: April 4, 2012, 11:06 am - IP Logged

                        Any problems with or among anyone would be a clear sign that something wasn't communicated - in writing. I made many lotto pools at my last job, and there were never any questions. And actually, I had made several pools, one for each of 2 or 3 departments.  And yes, I was in several pools at any time.

                        So, put it in writing, AND make some sort of clause that includes something to the effect of:

                        "this pool is only for people who fully understand the terms of this communal lotto, and who signify that by signing in one of the 20 spaces at the bottom of this page.  Each participant of this lotto agrees to not pursue any legal action against any member of this lotto pool. 

                        It may be the only way to be able to sleep at night, before a lotto.

                        I make the pool terms on one sheet, in MS Word, as it offers a ton of formatting options.

                        Have you guys ever won a JACKPOT? Your system and protocols and paperwork are never truly TESTED until you win!

                        "Freedom of Speech? Keep reading and you will discover that freedom comes at a price!"

                          hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

                          United States
                          Member #52345
                          May 21, 2007
                          2657 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: April 4, 2012, 11:24 am - IP Logged

                          If you really want to be in a pool ........... purchase one after you win by yourself!

                          Dance

                          Yes Nod

                            time*treat's avatar - radar

                            United States
                            Member #13130
                            March 30, 2005
                            2171 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: April 4, 2012, 12:22 pm - IP Logged

                            Have you guys ever won a JACKPOT? Your system and protocols and paperwork are never truly TESTED until you win!

                            I Agree! This. Not only are the protocals tested, but the people, too.

                            In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                            Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.