Lottery Post
News Story
Print Date: November 30, 2021, 12:54 pm

Dropping out of lottery pool costs teacher millions

Published: November 25, 2011, 3:10 am

Dave Johnston is kicking himself for pulling out of a lottery pool that's about to cash in a lucky ticket for $30 million.

The steam-fitting instructor at Red Deer College in central Alberta, Canada, used to play regularly with plumbing teachers he sat with in the school's lunchroom every day.

But he pulled out over a year ago.

"It's hard to stay in," said Johnston, who added he kept putting in his cash but the pool wasn't winning big. He eventually decided it just wasn't going to happen.

"And then it does."

Seven of the plumbers won last week's Lotto 6-49 jackpot. The men, each set to pocket about $4.3 million, are to be officially introduced at a Western Canada Lottery Corp. news conference today.

Johnston said he found the plumbers hugging each other and dancing around soon after they realized they had the winning numbers.
"I walked over and said, 'What did you do? Win a hundred bucks?' "

Johnston said he was happy to learn his co-workers were new millionaires. And he offered them a quick proposal.

"I said, 'Well, if each of you give me a $100,000 then I can retire too.' I thought I'd throw it out there," Johnston said. "I didn't have any bites."

A retired instructor who sometimes put money in the pool when he popped in for coffee also phoned to offer congratulations. But he also gave the group grief for not keeping him in the pool when he wasn't around.

Johnston said he's not upset and his family isn't blaming him, either. "It's just one of those things. If it was meant to be, it would be. That's all."


Comment #1:  TigerAngel  —  November 25, 2011, 3:21 am

Well, he should contact the lawyer of that other guy that dropped out 3 years previous and the court just awarded  him his cut. That was unreal!

Comment #2:  jackpotismine  —  November 25, 2011, 4:16 am

Unbelievable! Some people are just sore losers. He said: "I said, 'Well, if each of you give me a $100,000 then I can retire too.' I thought I'd throw it out there," Johnston said. "I didn't have any bites."

You are entitle to NOTHING! ZERO! ZILTCH! NADA! Why should any of the winners give him anything? You don't pay you don't play!

Comment #3:  temptustoo  —  November 25, 2011, 4:25 am

WOW,, who would have thunked it... Well I guess he thought it would have been better to save a few bucks... LOL... Some people are not meant to have millions .

Comment #4:  OldSchoolPa  —  November 25, 2011, 6:21 am

You know how educators and mentors are always exhorting kids to stay in school?  Well, I guess this can be adapted for this guy, and he is a teacher no less.  STAY IN THE (LOTTERY) POOL!!!  You lottery pool dropout!

I guess this illustrates an important point:  Don't alter your lottery buying pattern.  If he would have stayed in the pool, he would be some millions richer and retired.  But if you are not playing a pool, don't start...too much headache.  Also, I am reminded of the many folks who say they only play the lottery when it reaches a certain amount, like $100 million.  Well if these people would have done that, they would not have won.  And how many people pick their own numbers but exercise this scheme only to discover that their numbers rolled when the jackpot was MERELY $25 million?!!!  I think one quarter of $25 million is more than many people have in investment/bank accounts today!!!  I play regardless of the jackpot amount as it is irrelevant UNTIL your numbers hit.

Comment #5:  Slick Nick  —  November 25, 2011, 6:28 am

The guy pulled out over a year ago, no court would honor any claim. You have to stick with it.  Oh well, it wasn't meant to be.Lurking

Comment #6:  jump6702  —  November 25, 2011, 7:29 am

In response to Comment #4

if it is meant to happen it will happen if not it won't. it was not for him. life,must keep trying when it your time it will happen

Comment #7:  hearsetrax  —  November 25, 2011, 7:37 am

Skepticalwonders if he was the jinx in thar respective lotto pool Stooges

Comment #8:  fja  —  November 25, 2011, 7:41 am

Can't hurt to ask...The worst they can say is no.  He wasn't claiming anything...he just told the world he pulled out a year ago.  Oh We'll...It now becomes a story that sticks with you to the end....

Comment #9:  Slick Nick  —  November 25, 2011, 7:43 am

LOL, I know he's losing sleep over it. You have to stick with it.Bash

Comment #10:  TheRightPrice  —  November 25, 2011, 8:26 am

Stay in those lottery pools if you're in one.

Otherwise play soloThumbs Up

Comment #11:  Slick Nick  —  November 25, 2011, 8:34 am

Good advice Rightprice, I just sent a text to a few of my group players about this article..Razz

Comment #12:  rdgrnr  —  November 25, 2011, 10:08 am

Whoa, bummer.

He may have been what was holding them back. I believe the old saying that "scared money never wins" and cheapskates are always scared about risking their money. I wouldn't want to be in a pool unless everyone in it was upbeat and positive.

He thought he was never gonna win.

And of course he was right.

That's how it works.

Comment #13:  faber98  —  November 25, 2011, 10:16 am

tough toenails for him. this will teach you to either never join one of those pools or if you do stay in it no matter what. everyone should take turns buying him an item out of the vending machine one time each just for laughs if they still are working there, which they shouldn't be.

Comment #14:  s5thomps  —  November 25, 2011, 10:27 am

In response to Comment #12

                       CONCUR I Agree!

                 "SCARED MONEY DON'T MAKE MONEY!"

                                   "GOT TO BE IN IT TO WIN IT!"

Comment #15:  dpoly1  —  November 25, 2011, 11:07 am

Wow ........................

I keep playing by myself .......... if only $1 per draw (Mega or Powerball)...............

If you want to be green ......... win money ! Big Grin Santa

Comment #16:  JAP69  —  November 25, 2011, 11:17 am

One advantage of playing only for yourself and not in a pool is if you drop playing for awhile you will never know if you won or lost.
Now this person here may need to go to a therapist to be treated for "lottery pool dropout trauma" now that he knows he could have been a winner. Unhappy

Comment #17:  Piaceri  —  November 25, 2011, 11:19 am

Yep, prime example for a lawsuit waiting to happen. I'm sure he's already been contacted by % lawyers.


Ya gotta play for it to pay.

Comment #18:  psykomo  —  November 25, 2011, 12:22 pm

In response to Comment #12

      I Agree!RIGHT ON BROTHER from another MOTHER Jester Laugh

                                        "TODAY's the DAY"

                Quote: MEL FISHER Flordia treasure hunter

           Big Grin Santa     Jack-in-the-Box       Big Grin Santa

Comment #19:  cbr$  —  November 25, 2011, 12:25 pm

Cheerscongrat's to the seven plumbers , who win Lotto 6/49. too the retired instructor  and Mr Johnston gentleman it called gambling. so you had a loss think postive if not this time next time  somebody has to win it why not  you . When you win enjoy it  to high heaven. better luck next time.

Comment #20:  LottoGuyBC  —  November 25, 2011, 12:52 pm

if it wasn't meant to be, then it wasn't meant to be

Congratz to the Lucky 7 Cheers

Comment #21:  TheGameGrl  —  November 25, 2011, 2:10 pm

I'm sure he is a bit peeved at his "potential" loss, yet I have little advocacy for Lottery pools. Between Taxes and the govt, one just does not gain what they could if they went it alone.

Play alone, claim alone is my motto!!

Comment #22:  LANTERN  —  November 25, 2011, 4:55 pm

In response to Comment #12

It is possible that they might not have been winning because of him, the bible says that you need to have faith for things to happen and maybe he didn't, if he had faith he would have kept on playing, maybe it was a good thing for the group that he pulled out of the pool.

Comment #23:  LANTERN  —  November 25, 2011, 5:08 pm

In response to Comment #21

The esoteric thought is that there is more power in the union of many than in one alone, if that is right and I don't know if it is then those who play together have a higher chance of winning, they might anyway as they should be able to play more lines-combinations than one person.

Comment #24:  weshar75  —  November 25, 2011, 5:25 pm

I guess it was not his time to win and that he has bad karma.  He was bringing the group down so they gave him the boot.  Now they are winners good luck to them.  It is a nice win for the seven.  They can relax and not work so hard.-weshar75

Comment #25:  TheGameGrl  —  November 25, 2011, 6:00 pm

In response to Comment #23

Thank you for this concept. In lottery play it is irrelavant. One line wins plain and simple, so having ten tickets with variable combos may all be losers, where as one ticket can have them all. True fact , Now if its asked if you buy 50$ worth of tickets is your chance any better? Nope, the odds stay the same. One line with all winning numbers. I prove this succesfully every week as our work place has a "pool" for players. Accumilatively the group contributes 60$ per week for playing with wins of 2-8$ maybe once a month. I can pull in 12$ and 150$ sometimes on my $1 play. Yet they must split the 8$ win amongst 15 people.  Hopefully this example makes sense. Point being I gain more on my own then a group that has to split a win no matter how meager it is.

Lottery pools when won may seem like a big win, and sometimes it is. TO that I have no disagreement, yet we rarely hear of all the lottery pools that lose more consistently and longer. After awhile a good investor would realize that there money is better served in other ways then to squander it with a group that is losing consistently. Moral being: KNow when to cut your loss's and know when to go it alone. The Guy made the right decision for his budget.

Comment #26:  JAP69  —  November 25, 2011, 7:55 pm

Yep, good point.

You are right about playing a lot of lines and the odds are still the same where it takes only one line to win.

In the case of this person dropping out the rest of the players did not need his pool portion to buy more lines. They won on what they purchased.

Comment #27:  savagegoose  —  November 25, 2011, 8:24 pm

these court cases are hardly ever  decided by the judge.  they are setled out of court. ie the winners decide to hand over the cash rather than wait around for the  case to settle.


funny this is here; becasue the syndicate im in,  for over 8 years, has just been told 1 guy is pulling out. and when told another guy had pulled out a 2nd guy decided to leave. From 5 to 3.  One of the guys is my second, and was named and titled to  be syndicate manager if i ever couldnt do the job. so all the paper work we did is now useless.


i guess it was a good run. of course there was no problems it never won  anything of consequense.

funy over the years $8k was spent and $4k was won back,  they state at lotto that the return on avg is %50 of  wagers!

Comment #28:  NITEHAWK61  —  November 25, 2011, 9:04 pm

"you got to be in it to win it" simple as that!

Comment #29:  dpoly1  —  November 25, 2011, 10:31 pm

I am hoping to go Green tonite .................... with MONEY !

US Flag

Comment #30:  Guest  —  November 25, 2011, 11:57 pm

he should still get half the jackpot.

Comment #31:  jeffrey  —  November 26, 2011, 12:05 am

In response to Comment #30

sorry, he is a loser. i want to win with my co-workers. i still have a few by myself. photostatic copies with a list and a note these are the only players.

Comment #32:  rdgrnr  —  November 26, 2011, 12:52 am

In response to Comment #30

No, two thirds.

And all the other seven guys have to take turns buying him a new car every year for the rest of his life. And if somebody in the seven dies, his family has to keep buying the guy a new car every year until he dies. A nice car too, not some cheap, crappy Rambler or anything like that either.

Comment #33:  dpoly1  —  November 26, 2011, 11:16 am

If you want the jackpot, you must pay to play !!!!!!!!!!  Sad

Comment #34:  ONEDAY  —  November 26, 2011, 12:16 pm

i think his friends though no way obligated should give him a gift..

Comment #35:  malie10  —  November 26, 2011, 12:25 pm

If i was one who won $4M I would give him and other coworkers some cash for sure. I always said, should I win anything $20M or more, I would write checks and go to work and hand them out to everyone, maybe only $10k each but why not? He should not have said $100,000 because you know he is thinking they should give him something, but that's up to the winners themselves.

Comment #36:  butch2030  —  November 26, 2011, 1:08 pm

To view/download combos and patterns found in the Canada 6-49 Game - Go To -

Please advise of any questions and/or problems.

Good Luck & Best Wishes To ALL........

Personal Note: If I was in Canada, I would wheel Group 99.  See Below.   Have 6 people play as a group and split the pot equally. (My Opinion Only).

Input:  7, 13, 18, 23, 24, 26, 27, 32

1. 07-13-18-23-24-26
2. 07-13-18-23-24-27
3. 07-13-18-23-24-32
4. 07-13-18-23-26-27
5. 07-13-18-23-26-32
6. 07-13-18-23-27-32
7. 07-13-18-24-26-27
8. 07-13-18-24-26-32
9. 07-13-18-24-27-32
10. 07-13-18-26-27-32
11. 07-13-23-24-26-27
12. 07-13-23-24-26-32
13. 07-13-23-24-27-32
14. 07-13-23-26-27-32
15. 07-13-24-26-27-32
16. 07-18-23-24-26-27
17. 07-18-23-24-26-32
18. 07-18-23-24-27-32
19. 07-18-23-26-27-32
20. 07-18-24-26-27-32
21. 07-23-24-26-27-32
22. 13-18-23-24-26-27
23. 13-18-23-24-26-32
24. 13-18-23-24-27-32
25. 13-18-23-26-27-32
26. 13-18-24-26-27-32
27. 13-23-24-26-27-32
28. 18-23-24-26-27-32

Comment #37:  RJOh  —  November 26, 2011, 5:35 pm

In response to Comment #35

Would you expect the same from your co-workers if it ever happens to them?  If so, do they know?

Comment #38:  larry3100  —  November 26, 2011, 6:45 pm

Again,it reminds me of the "Albany 7" in New York that won $319 million dollars. Someone asked this potential 8th lottery player if he wanted to get in and he said "I don't feel lucky". There is something about that number "7". I think I'll buy 7 quick picks for the next MegaMillions game. Congrats to the "Plumbers 7".


Comment #39:  savagegoose  —  November 26, 2011, 10:14 pm


Comment #40:  Dollar419  —  November 27, 2011, 12:02 am

He probably felt as I do tonight, that you eventually think you will never win after playing over and over and over and not winning anything significant after a long period of time. Of course, this is bad lottery karma and they won the minute he decides not to contribute anymore.  I guess story this just answered my question...keep on playing because it can happen at any timeSmile!!!

Comment #41:  OldSchoolPa  —  November 27, 2011, 4:00 am

I want a lottery jackpot for my 41st birthday present this Christmas.  I think I will buy me another line of numbers by subscription for Mega Millions Big Grin Santa


Whatever I win, I will be happy with it!

Comment #42:  savagegoose  —  November 27, 2011, 4:35 am

there is no desription on how much they paid , maybe it was $100 a draw ea, maybe the 7 guys thought they could afford the   loss, but the 8th  couldnt.

maybe he hoped to win big early, and  decided he could no longer   run at a losss of $400 a month?


i know if it was $100 down a week myself i would NEVER join,. and  even tho i would still kick myself  when the  group won in a years time, I would know i couldnt operate at $5200 a year lossses if it didnt win.


this is just hypothetical, but we dont know all the details.

Comment #43:  hearsetrax  —  November 27, 2011, 7:12 am

In response to Comment #42

well put .... but just the same U've got to stay in it to win it

Comment #44:  surimaribo24  —  November 27, 2011, 8:46 am

In response to Comment #32


Comment #45:  kalikgirl  —  November 27, 2011, 9:44 am

Its a sad situation.. especially as he couldnt keep up with the payments. But we are happy for the others.


wish them all well.

Comment #46:  RJOh  —  November 27, 2011, 11:14 am

In response to Comment #42

Players usually join pools to save money, if it was a big spender's type of pool then he should have known from the get go if he could afford it.  I would think any one who could afford $100 a draw wouldn't need to join a pool.

Comment #47:  CashWinner$  —  November 27, 2011, 12:24 pm

Congratulations 2 the Winners !$!$! Cheers

But, O..M..G.. I would be so cranky if I pulled out ... dude's totally bummin'.....Bang Head  $$$ Down da drain ----

Comment #48:  savagegoose  —  November 27, 2011, 1:41 pm

yeah im not saying it WAS $100 ea,  just  making an extreme example. i do know of pools that have been higher than that , and others like mine that are $5 a week ea.

Comment #49:  louise black  —  November 27, 2011, 3:41 pm

In response to Comment #12

You are right with that one I know from experience,"scared money definitely never wins".I Agree!

Comment #50:  Decadesofv  —  November 27, 2011, 4:13 pm


Comment #51:  RJOh  —  November 27, 2011, 6:28 pm

In response to Comment #48

I bet there are some who would think even $5 a week for lottery tickets would be better spent on something else.  Everybody make choices and have to live with the results.

Comment #52:  Slick Nick  —  November 27, 2011, 7:10 pm

No, all of nothing. He was out for a year, snooze, ya lose.No Nod

Comment #53:  rdgrnr  —  November 27, 2011, 7:59 pm

If he doesn't get any money, the least his lawyer should settle for is a giant, towering, monolithic obelisk erected in his honor and recognition of this man and his struggles.

It's only fair.

Comment #54:  ConstantlyB  —  November 28, 2011, 2:28 am

In response to Comment #7

funny u should say that....i think we've got one in our pool...LOL...just joking....hmmmmmmmmmm

Comment #55:  savagegoose  —  November 28, 2011, 9:35 am

In response to Comment #51

yeah actually that was the point i was trying to make but forgot to.  some think $5 is too much some think $100 is just fine.

Comment #56:  ekem6078  —  November 28, 2011, 11:10 am

I don't care if the jackpots a 100,000. if I win it's more than I got in my pocket lol lolGreen laughDude was probably one of those who conplianed all the time, "the lottery is riged"  Hey if you don't wont to play don''t. But when you stoose you loose. Suck it up and go on to back to workGreen laughI bet next time he'll stay in.Bang Head

Comment #57:  Texas Joey  —  December 8, 2011, 12:21 am

Smiley Santa We have a Lottery Pool here in Katy, TX and People only stay in it for 3 months then leave.  3 of us and in for the long run and so far we have won 200 and come close but no horseshoe!!

Comment #58:  GM1258  —  December 11, 2011, 10:41 am

Maybe the guy jinxed the pool in the first place by being a member.

By dropping out he allowed the others' good luck to rake it in.

Comment #59:  Iesha Kelly  —  January 8, 2012, 5:04 am

In response to Comment #22

Your post makes me feel sad inside.  The bible says one should place one's faith in god.   This man is better served by having faith that god has a plan for him, and that plan did not include being a partial winner.  That same god would have a plan for the others who did pitch in the one week random chance allowed them to win.  Their faith didn't make them winners, in the first place.

I wish that man well.