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Montana's $1M lottery raffle winner sued for half of prize

Montana LotteryMontana Lottery: Montana's $1M lottery raffle winner sued for half of prize
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HELENA, Mont. — A regular at the Town Pump in East Helena, Montana, is suing 23-year-old Jeff Fallang, who recently hit a $1 million jackpot and has not given the plaintiff a cut.

Michael Hess said he went to the store to purchase Montana Millionaire tickets on Dec. 23, and told Fallang if he won, he'd split his winnings, according to documents filed in Helena district court Thursday. Fallang, who was on shift, asked Hess if he could buy a ticket from him.

"I then told Jeff I would as long as if he was to win we would split it in half," Hess said in a signed affidavit. "Jeff agreed to the terms of me buying the ticket for him and I purchased the ticket."

Hess bought a third ticket with the same agreement, according to court documents. His two tickets were numbers 133605 and 133658. The number of the ticket he bought for Fallang was 133618.

Helena-based Doubek, Pyfer & Fox, LLP said the winning ticket 133618 was announced Dec. 30, according to court documents. Hess said Falling has refused to split the winnings, so he has requested a restraining order preventing Fallang from spending, transferring, conveying or otherwise disposing of at least $500,000.

Fallang said he intends to spend a significant portion of the money on a family vacation, to purchase a home and go on the 4-20 Tour (which is a marijuana-smoking tour in Colorado), according to court documents.

The court documents also named two Town Pump employees who said they witnessed an agreement between the two.

"Jeff and Mike made the deal on each of the three tickets that night. The agreement was Jeff and Mike splitting the winning in half and both of them agreed to this agreement," said Sam Allen, the cashier who sold the tickets that evening, in a signed affidavit. A deli clerk also witnessed the agreement, Allen added.

"After all three tickets were purchased we all stood there and chatted a little longer on what we would do with our half if we won," Hess said. "After learning Jeff's ticket was the winning ticket, I contacted him to get my agreed half. He refused to respond to my request."

Reached by phone, Fallang declined to comment Thursday night for this story.

Last week, he declined to tell the Independent Record in Helena why he decided to buy the tickets. He said he doesn't play the lottery regularly but has bought tickets for Montana Millionaire in the past. He planned to take time off work, but then return after the publicity dies down.

"I don't really know how it'll change my life, but hopefully nothing changes," he previously said. "I don't have plans for any of it. I just plan to keep living life."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Billings Gazette

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42 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by savagegoose.
Page 1 of 3

United States
Member #156369
June 16, 2014
570 Posts
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Posted: January 10, 2015, 1:28 pm - IP Logged

How awful.

ALWAYS REMEMBER EVERYONE who is in this horrid situation,it can be avoided,by simply a few astute steps:

PROTECT YOUR WINNING$$$ 

Simply by:

1.)sign a document adaging,"If monies are won,we will share 1/2 and 1/2 equal split."This is so easy to do,to ensure that later trust me it will hold up in any court of law,with a signed agreement,that if monies are won,from the other party,you're entitle to half,or whatever amount is listed on the official documented agreement.WinkI would sign in a ny minute,if i was doing a lottery-shared pool,or even a loving family member,premise on you NEVER know how things will go now a days.As this article adage,in court it would have to remain"as is"until ALL court hearings are adjudicated on such relevant issue.The guy wouldn't be able to spend NADA,transferring;and or conveying,or otherwise disposing of any or at the least 1/2 that is owed to this guy,who was promise his 1/2 of the lotto winnings et;al.,

You have to get it all in writing in "advance,that the money will be shared equally."

 

I wish more would think to do this,i know i would,and i know some 1 who did (see below example)

 

2.)notarize it,if feasible same day of agreement,and or at the least,just sign something,or heck i know a few who record it,on a smartphone et;al.,

 I.E.,

middle of 2014

I had a friend who won suit,and he promise his parents,and sister back a hefty$amount,to be shared.He did the RIGHT thing,so i know GOD will keep blessing all of them for it.(they house him,while he was down on his luck,barely had 100 bucks each week in the bank,they took GOOD care of him,soon as his'jackpot in the form of the suit came in,he kept his word,but older sis and both seniors,the parents,had it all in writing anyhow,as back up,and would have held up in court."

He has no regrets of SIGNING the  letter type up by the family and him,they heck took good care of him for years prior to the suit windfall $$$ coming in last year.The family and himself still have more$$ to go around for 10 lifetimes.$$$ So in their case it all worked out well.

 I hope, if true,the man will get his portion... i WILL follow this story,because he should get his 1/2 if this was really agreed upon.

adios

    ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
    Idaho
    United States
    Member #56506
    November 21, 2007
    6537 Posts
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    Posted: January 10, 2015, 1:35 pm - IP Logged

    I think this is going to get nasty. The fact that Michael Hess has two witnesses who heard Jeff Fallang agree to share the any winnings might help his case. If they are telling the truth of course. Also, he went to the store and bought the tickets so that might show that they did have an agreement.

    "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

      noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
      Bay Area - California
      United States
      Member #136477
      December 12, 2012
      4106 Posts
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      Posted: January 10, 2015, 1:39 pm - IP Logged

      You have to have it in writing...end of story! Bringing in eye witnesses to what he said/she said may work..but it's dicey.

      Bearded Jeff does not know what he going to do with the money- what he does KNOW for certain is that his going on the marijuana smoking tour in Colorado, l guess that is what he defines as " living life"- what a Guy!

      All the best in trying to get your half of the money Micheal, l sure hope you " have definite plans " should you be successful.

      On a side note: Make sure you know where that Smoking tour bus is going to be at all times.

      People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

        lothob's avatar - chi jpeg.jpg

        United States
        Member #60481
        April 20, 2008
        7053 Posts
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        Posted: January 10, 2015, 1:41 pm - IP Logged

        4-20 tour, lol.

        "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."  Muhammad Ali

          mypiemaster's avatar - 2015021003pileofcash
          JACKPOT HUNTER

          United States
          Member #141034
          April 2, 2013
          1408 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 10, 2015, 1:53 pm - IP Logged

          Don't you just hate it when shiiiiiiit happens?. Some people will never learn.

          Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

          Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

            music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
            Happy California
            United States
            Member #157856
            August 2, 2014
            1513 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 10, 2015, 1:57 pm - IP Logged

            Party I have made oral and written promises and I will keep those promises when I win the 

             Mega Millions jackpot for $246,000,000.00 .   Good Luck to all LP members & Staff !! Banana

              LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
              Happyland
              United States
              Member #146344
              September 1, 2013
              1129 Posts
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              Posted: January 10, 2015, 2:20 pm - IP Logged

              Mike bought the ticket, so why didn't he just keep the ticket? i.e.

              1. Mikes buys ticket for Jeff.
              2. Mike keeps ticket until drawing.
              3. Winner, Mike contacts Jeff so they can claim/split together.

              Instead, now you have:

              1. Mike buys ticket for Jeff, gives ticket to Jeff in hopes that Jeff will, out of the kindness/honesty of his heart, split winnings
              2. Jeff gets away scot-free, having scammed another idiot lottery player into buying him a winning ticket (clerks love people like Mike)

              If Mike doesn't get the money it's his own fault. Who really believes a stranger will split their winnings with you? Especially with no written agreement? Sorry, but a handshake has never been reliable for contract binding...you can throw in words "trust" and "honesty" all you want but since the beginning of time, it has failed.

              Absolutely zero sympathy from my department.

              If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the potential payoff does.
              If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

              2016: -48.28% (13 tickets) ||
              P&L % = Total Win($)/Total Wager($) - 1

                maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
                Massachusetts
                United States
                Member #37433
                April 14, 2006
                2747 Posts
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                Posted: January 10, 2015, 2:34 pm - IP Logged

                Mike Hess bought 3 tickets, gave one to Jeff and then they agreed to split any wins on the three tickets (including the two he kept for himself)? It sounds absurd and Jeff's lawyer will exploit that. Jeff can easily claim there was no partnership and the ticket was just a gift. The witnesses memory of the exact words used will be key to deciding this one.

                That money's gone fo ever

                  RedStang's avatar - tallman zps6gf4inoc.jpg
                  NY
                  United States
                  Member #121961
                  January 21, 2012
                  3157 Posts
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                  Posted: January 10, 2015, 3:22 pm - IP Logged

                  I'm waiting for this to happen to me. I get QP tickets for our work pool and myself. I know what's coming if i win. This case should be interesting since there's a witness.

                    Avatar
                    California
                    United States
                    Member #141204
                    April 7, 2013
                    280 Posts
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                    Posted: January 10, 2015, 3:23 pm - IP Logged

                    the only people who will walk away with any money after the dust settles are the lawyers. No Nod

                      mikeintexas's avatar - tx avatar-1.gif
                      Texas Panhandle
                      United States
                      Member #136843
                      December 20, 2012
                      1275 Posts
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                      Posted: January 10, 2015, 6:13 pm - IP Logged

                      the only people who will walk away with any money after the dust settles are the lawyers. No Nod

                      You got that right.

                      I used to get my tickets at a nearby convenience store, but would try to avoid going in when a certain clerk was there.  She was friendly and I'm sure she really meant no harm, but she'd say when handing my ticket, holding it back after I'd already paid:  "Now, you have to promise me you'll split it with me if you win!"  I used to just smile, not saying anything until finally had to tell her no, I wasn't promising her a dime, wasn't going to have her suing me for her "share".


                      A people that elect corrupt politicians, impostors, thieves and traitors are not victims...but accomplices.
                       - George Orwell

                        Avatar
                        Wyomissing, PA
                        United States
                        Member #161050
                        November 15, 2014
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                        Posted: January 10, 2015, 7:39 pm - IP Logged

                        Use of self-service terminals avoids that issue. Plus offers other benefits too, such as being able to wager exactly the way one desires without need of explaining it all to the clerk.

                        As for pools, providing a copy of all the tickets front and back to all the participants prior to the drawing is highly recommended. Additionally, it may be best to purchase one's personal tickets at a different time and location than those for the pool. And more ideally, playing one's own numbers instead of quickpicks, and retaining past played tickets with those hand-selected numbers as documentation.

                          RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                          mid-Ohio
                          United States
                          Member #9
                          March 24, 2001
                          19825 Posts
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                          Posted: January 10, 2015, 7:58 pm - IP Logged

                          This sounds like one of those "remember me if you win" scam promoted by people loitering around stores selling lottery tickets.  I usually tell these bums "I don't know you now and I won't be knowing you if I win".  Even if you say nothing, the people actually think they have an enforcealble contract.

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

                            mikeintexas's avatar - tx avatar-1.gif
                            Texas Panhandle
                            United States
                            Member #136843
                            December 20, 2012
                            1275 Posts
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                            Posted: January 10, 2015, 8:27 pm - IP Logged

                            Use of self-service terminals avoids that issue. Plus offers other benefits too, such as being able to wager exactly the way one desires without need of explaining it all to the clerk.

                            As for pools, providing a copy of all the tickets front and back to all the participants prior to the drawing is highly recommended. Additionally, it may be best to purchase one's personal tickets at a different time and location than those for the pool. And more ideally, playing one's own numbers instead of quickpicks, and retaining past played tickets with those hand-selected numbers as documentation.

                            Yes, I use one in the grocery store sometimes, but I mostly buy my tickets at a locally owned (as are all here in Texas) liquor store because the retailer's cut would stay here in town and not go to some out-of-state corporation.    I hope that if the store ever sells a winning ticket, the owner would give bonuses to his employees.   The downside of using a machine is that they sometimes malfunction - it's happened to me three times before and I had to stay at the machine until management came to sort it out. (all three times I had money in the machine and nothing came out, the scratch ticket or the lotto slip had hung up - I was positive that if I left, the next person would be able to use my credits I had already paid for or my scratchers would dispense for them )  Also, if there's dust on the bill scanner it won't take bills.  I was trying to fill up a five gal. water bottle the other day and that machine wouldn't take a new dollar bill, but it took another that was torn and faded, go figger.