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Judge won't give bakery workers partial lottery prize

Mar 1, 2013, 6:08 pm

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Mega MillionsMega Millions: Judge won't give bakery workers partial lottery prizeRating:

CHICAGO, Ill. — A Cook County, Illinois, judge on Thursday refused to award a partial payout of a $118 million Mega Millions prize won by employees of a Chicago Heights-based bakery.

Twelve employees of the Pita Pan Bakery, 401 E. Joe Orr Road in Chicago Heights, who have taken to calling themselves the "Dirty Dozen," have possession of the winning ticket from a May 4 drawing that won them the record-high prize.

But another seven employees of the bakery have filed assorted lawsuits in Cook County Circuit Court claiming for various reasons they were part of the group that routinely purchased lottery tickets and should receive shares of the lottery prize.

Those lawsuits are pending and likely to take some time to resolve. To that end, attorney Michael Haugh filed a request that at least part of the prize be paid out now so the dozen people can have some of the money. The remaining money would be put in escrow until it could be resolved who, if anyone, has a legitimate claim to it.

On Thursday, Judge Kathleen Pantle issued an order that rejects Haugh's request. By his calculations, the lottery prize breaks down to $7.2 million for each client if all the lawsuits are rejected. If all the other lawsuits are found to be valid, the prize would be $4.8 million each.

In her order, Pantle said her priority is to "preserve the status quo" until the larger lawsuit can be resolved. Any payouts would violate that status quo, she said.

She also cited the fact that the Illinois attorney general's office argued on behalf of the Illinois Lottery against any partial payouts of the lottery prize. State lottery officials have said they will not pay any of the prize until the courts tell them who has a legitimate claim to the money.

"Given that both federal and state taxes must be properly paid on the winnings and the (state) administrative code dictates how payouts are to be properly made, it would be improper to order a payout at this stage," Pantle wrote.

Haugh had argued the dozen clients with possession of the winning ticket could receive a partial payment of a little more than $5 million each.

However, Pantle wrote, "the Dirty Dozen argues that the numbers can merely be adjusted, any payout would not be in accordance with the letter or the spirit of the law."

Pantle heard oral arguments on the issue in January and said at that time she would rule in writing by Wednesday, although she wound up taking an extra day before ruling Thursday afternoon.

"I've been anxiously waiting by my fax machine for this ruling," said Erron Fisher, an attorney for two of the bakery workers claiming a share of the prize.

Haugh said he disagreed with Pantle's order, which he thinks was heavily influenced by the attorney general's opinion.

"I'm not sure I agree with it," he said.

He doesn't plan to challenge it for now, he said.

Haugh said that as the lawsuits proceed in the courts and more information is obtained during the discovery process, he may make another attempt later this year to try to get a partial payout for his clients.

"I may try to make another request on this issue," Haugh said.

Fast Times

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59 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by Ronnie316.
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Chasing $ Millions.
White Shores- California
United States
Member #136471
December 12, 2012
6622 Posts
Online

A Cook County, Illinois, judge on Thursday refused to award a partial payout of a $118 million Mega Millions prize won by employees of a Chicago Heights-based bakery.

Twelve employees of the Pita Pan Bakery, 401 E. Joe Orr Road in Chicago Heights, who have taken to calling themselves the "Dirty Dozen," have possession of the winning ticket from a May 4 drawing that won them the record-high prize.

But another seven employees of the bakery have filed assorted lawsuits in Cook County Circuit Court claiming for various reasons they were part of the group that routinely purchased lottery tickets and should receive shares of the lottery prize.

Those lawsuits are pending and likely to take some time to resolve. To that end, attorney Michael Haugh filed a request that at least part of the prize be paid out now so the dozen people can have some of the money. The remaining money would be put in escrow until it could be resolved who, if anyone, has a legitimate claim to it.

On Thursday, Judge Kathleen Pantle issued an order that rejects Haugh's request. By his calculations, the lottery prize breaks down to $7.2 million for each client if all the lawsuits are rejected. If all the other lawsuits are found to be valid, the prize would be $4.8 million each.

In her order, Pantle said her priority is to "preserve the status quo" until the larger lawsuit can be resolved. Any payouts would violate that status quo, she said.

She also cited the fact that the Illinois attorney general's office argued on behalf of the Illinois Lottery against any partial payouts of the lottery prize. State lottery officials have said they will not pay any of the prize until the courts tell them who has a legitimate claim to the money.

"Given that both federal and state taxes must be properly paid on the winnings and the (state) administrative code dictates how payouts are to be properly made, it would be improper to order a payout at this stage," Pantle wrote.

Haugh had argued the dozen clients with possession of the winning ticket could receive a partial payment of a little more than $5 million each.

However, Pantle wrote, "the Dirty Dozen argues that the numbers can merely be adjusted, any payout would not be in accordance with the letter or the spirit of the law."

Pantle heard oral arguments on the issue in January and said at that time she would rule in writing by Wednesday, although she wound up taking an extra day before ruling Thursday afternoon.

"I've been anxiously waiting by my fax machine for this ruling," said Erron Fisher, an attorney for two of the bakery workers claiming a share of the prize.

Haugh said he disagreed with Pantle's order, which he thinks was heavily influenced by the attorney general's opinion.

"I'm not sure I agree with it," he said.

He doesn't plan to challenge it for now, he said.

Haugh said that as the lawsuits proceed in the courts and more information is obtained during the discovery process, he may make another attempt later this year to try to get a partial payout for his clients.

"I may try to make another request on this issue," Haugh said.

Moral of the Story: Stay the Hell away from Lottery Pools. You better off all by your lonesome.  No hassles, no " we were part of that winning and are now being shut out!"


    United States
    Member #122685
    February 6, 2012
    368 Posts
    Offline

    Perfect example of why anonymity is bad. If these people are legitimately entiled to a share of the winnings, they could have been screwed out of their share if the other twelve were able to keep silent and hidden. 

    Common sense. 

      hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

      United States
      Member #52343
      May 21, 2007
      3364 Posts
      Offline

      Perfect example of why anonymity is bad. If these people are legitimately entiled to a share of the winnings, they could have been screwed out of their share if the other twelve were able to keep silent and hidden. 

      Common sense. 

      so sez Mr/Mrs/Ms blank profile .......

      it can be said thar is a certain amount of risk to joining office pools.

      but if one is foolish enough to join a poorly managed pool or was unable to cough up the money to play that drawing/week,but exspect to be covered by those who HAVE the money ... those without should just STHU and deal with it

        grwurston's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
        Same #'s, different games.
        Here
        United States
        Member #90247
        April 24, 2010
        10239 Posts
        Online

        I can't help but wonder if the other 7 workers were all people who were in the pool at one time and then dropped out at some point. If the current dirty dozen are the only ones who have copies of the tickets that were purchased it should be an open and shut case. That is, assuming copies were even made, which should be a no-brainer for any pool.

        But having been in pools before nothing would surprise me. Which is why I now avoid them like the plague.

        The lottery is the same. 

        https://youtu.be/b5-iJUuPWis

          sully16's avatar - sharan
          25
          Dr.President Elect
          Michigan
          United States
          Member #81738
          October 28, 2009
          86099 Posts
          Offline

          Better to go it alone.

          US Flag

            grwurston's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
            Same #'s, different games.
            Here
            United States
            Member #90247
            April 24, 2010
            10239 Posts
            Online

            Better to go it alone.

            I Agree!   Absolutely, positively 10,000%.

            I once joined an existing pool. 10 person limit. Each week a different member would collect the $$, buy the tix, make copies. Since I always played daily, I was eventually asked if I would get the tix every week. I had no problem with it and did it for      1 1/2 years. I would always pass out the copies the day before the drawing.

            One day, my car broke down and I couldn't get to work on Monday. Got the car back late Tuesday. The Mega Mill. drawing was Tuesday night. So I got the tix Tuesday evening before the drawing and made copies at the store, I even got a receipt for the copies. Went to work Wednesday and passed out the copies, with a copy of the receipt included. Everyone was cool with it except for one person. His question was, how do we know you didn't just make copies of a bunch of losing tix and keep the winners? Which didn't make any sense since the copies were made before the drawing and had the time on the receipt. Which was only a couple of minutes after the time on the tix.(No body hit the jackpot that day).

            I got pissed and said, after 1 1/2 years you're going to question my honesty? If you were that worried why didn't you get the tix yourself Monday night? He didn't have an answer. I then said I wasn't going to get the tix every week anymore and we should go back to taking turns like we did originally. All the other members gave him some you-know-what about it. But  nobody else wanted to buy the tix. So the pool ended. And now I stay away from all lottery pools.

            The lottery is the same. 

            https://youtu.be/b5-iJUuPWis

              dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
              Oklahoma
              United States
              Member #82389
              November 12, 2009
              6371 Posts
              Offline

              Drama Drama Drama.....

              I Love Pink & Green 1908

                grwurston's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                Same #'s, different games.
                Here
                United States
                Member #90247
                April 24, 2010
                10239 Posts
                Online

                Drama Drama Drama.....

                Got that right. LOL  Just one example why pools are N.G. That's why they aren't worth all the BS

                The lottery is the same. 

                https://youtu.be/b5-iJUuPWis

                  winsumloosesum's avatar - Lottery-060.jpg
                  Philadelpia/Pennsylvania
                  United States
                  Member #2218
                  September 1, 2003
                  6529 Posts
                  Offline

                  If we distribute a partial payment to the orignal pool members they will split town and won't pay the legal bills.  Let's drag this on and on so the lawyers will make a killing.

                    helpmewin's avatar - dandy
                    100
                    u$a
                    United States
                    Member #106660
                    February 22, 2011
                    19967 Posts
                    Offline

                    not sure what is going on here but bakery workers called "the Dirty Dozen" makes me Not wanting any DONUTS from therePuke

                    Patriot

                      maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-030.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #124610
                      March 16, 2012
                      3713 Posts
                      Offline

                      Moral of the Story: Stay the Hell away from Lottery Pools. You better off all by your lonesome.  No hassles, no " we were part of that winning and are now being shut out!"

                      wow... if they are requesting a partial payout of the minimum amount they would win if ALL lawsuits are successful and still are denied... wow...

                      noise-gate is right

                        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                        Wandering Aimlessly
                        United States
                        Member #25359
                        November 5, 2005
                        4461 Posts
                        Offline

                        Better to go it alone.

                        I agree.  Sure, being in a pool increases your chances of winning because you're playing with more combinations, but I am not sure it's worth the aggravation.  I don't even like to pick up tickets for friends unless they're sick or disabled and can't make it to the store.   It sounds so simple, "Hey, pick me up a few PB tickets tonight!" but when one of those tickets suddenly hits the jackpot, or even $1 million, something simple can turn into a big mess!

                          jeffrey's avatar - moon
                          Hamilton, OH
                          United States
                          Member #4162
                          March 27, 2004
                          277 Posts
                          Offline

                          I Agree!   Absolutely, positively 10,000%.

                          I once joined an existing pool. 10 person limit. Each week a different member would collect the $$, buy the tix, make copies. Since I always played daily, I was eventually asked if I would get the tix every week. I had no problem with it and did it for      1 1/2 years. I would always pass out the copies the day before the drawing.

                          One day, my car broke down and I couldn't get to work on Monday. Got the car back late Tuesday. The Mega Mill. drawing was Tuesday night. So I got the tix Tuesday evening before the drawing and made copies at the store, I even got a receipt for the copies. Went to work Wednesday and passed out the copies, with a copy of the receipt included. Everyone was cool with it except for one person. His question was, how do we know you didn't just make copies of a bunch of losing tix and keep the winners? Which didn't make any sense since the copies were made before the drawing and had the time on the receipt. Which was only a couple of minutes after the time on the tix.(No body hit the jackpot that day).

                          I got pissed and said, after 1 1/2 years you're going to question my honesty? If you were that worried why didn't you get the tix yourself Monday night? He didn't have an answer. I then said I wasn't going to get the tix every week anymore and we should go back to taking turns like we did originally. All the other members gave him some you-know-what about it. But  nobody else wanted to buy the tix. So the pool ended. And now I stay away from all lottery pools.

                          co-workers are not friends and many friends are only friends when it's convenient. sad but often true. learn to love yourself and don't play the fool. people love to have slaves. tell them to get bent.Bang Head


                            United States
                            Member #122685
                            February 6, 2012
                            368 Posts
                            Offline

                            The overwhelming majority of pools that have won have no problems and the fact that so many pools win show that it is a sound strategy because it allows for you to have much greater chances of winning due to the fact that so many numbers and combinations are being played. There is nothing to stop you from playing your own numbers on the side also, but to not join in a pool if you have the chance is kind of idiotic. As long as it is set up properly, even if there are problems, eventually you will get your money. 

                            If these guys get $7 million each, awesome, even if they get $5 million each that is still great. They can still retire and live very well regardless.