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Office Pool Lotto Questions

Topic closed. 20 replies. Last post 8 years ago by davidtn.

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New Member
Tennessee
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Member #68814
December 31, 2008
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Posted: January 1, 2009, 2:33 pm - IP Logged

I'm a fairly bright fellow, but new to the Office Pool Lotto concept.  I know several board members have said they'd never play in an office pool for fear of lawsuit, etc. etc.  However, I've made the decision to put one together (we just had a million dollar winner in our small hometown) so I'm not asking whether I should do it or not.

To those of you who are much more knowledgeable I pose these questions:

  • Do you let each member pick their own numbers or do you just have the lotto computer pick them all?  (I know this would be an easier process to manage)
  • Do you have each member contribute the same dollar amount or do you let each member decide their share and then any winnings are distributed on a pecentage paid-in basis.  (again I know the same dollar amount would be easier)
  • Are you aware of any resources to put together an office pool?  I'm going to have each member sign an agreement.  It's a good start.

Thanks to those of you who take the time to post your opinions on my questions.  I ask you all because there's no reason to reinvent the wheel I always say!

Here's hoping you all have a happy and prosperous New Year.

    Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
    Indiana
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    January 7, 2007
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    Posted: January 1, 2009, 3:17 pm - IP Logged

    I'm a fairly bright fellow, but new to the Office Pool Lotto concept.  I know several board members have said they'd never play in an office pool for fear of lawsuit, etc. etc.  However, I've made the decision to put one together (we just had a million dollar winner in our small hometown) so I'm not asking whether I should do it or not.

    To those of you who are much more knowledgeable I pose these questions:

    • Do you let each member pick their own numbers or do you just have the lotto computer pick them all?  (I know this would be an easier process to manage)
    • Do you have each member contribute the same dollar amount or do you let each member decide their share and then any winnings are distributed on a pecentage paid-in basis.  (again I know the same dollar amount would be easier)
    • Are you aware of any resources to put together an office pool?  I'm going to have each member sign an agreement.  It's a good start.

    Thanks to those of you who take the time to post your opinions on my questions.  I ask you all because there's no reason to reinvent the wheel I always say!

    Here's hoping you all have a happy and prosperous New Year.

    Get quick picks and have each person in the pool put in the same amount of money($1 per person, $2 per person, etc).

    Make sure there is something in the contract that takes care of a situation like this:

    http://www.lotterypost.com/news/186331

    In other words, specify in the contract that pools are considered on a drawing-by-drawing basis, and that only people who put in money for a given drawing are entitled to a share of that drawing; which the Piqua lottery winners failed to do. You cannot assume everyone has an unspoken agreement that they're only included if they put in money for that drawing.

    Gonna win.Big Smile

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      Tennessee
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      Posted: January 1, 2009, 4:21 pm - IP Logged

      Thanks so much for your suggestions.  I'll be curious if there are any more helpful suggestions such as yours.

        Jack-C's avatar - us
        San Diego, CA
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        Posted: January 1, 2009, 4:33 pm - IP Logged

        Check with your state to see what needs to be done.  California used to have (probably still does) a special package for lotto pools.  They will pay multiple checks up to a certain number, but they need to be the same amount to each person.  That means you could not, at least in California, let people have different share amounts.  This may have changed over the years, but check with your state.  Quick picks, by the way are best and make sure that they names of each person are on the list that you copy and give to everyone.

        Make sure you copy the tickets and the names of the people and give copies to each person.

        Good luck.

          Kidzmom's avatar - cold
          NC
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          Posted: January 1, 2009, 4:44 pm - IP Logged

          I'm a fairly bright fellow, but new to the Office Pool Lotto concept.  I know several board members have said they'd never play in an office pool for fear of lawsuit, etc. etc.  However, I've made the decision to put one together (we just had a million dollar winner in our small hometown) so I'm not asking whether I should do it or not.

          To those of you who are much more knowledgeable I pose these questions:

          • Do you let each member pick their own numbers or do you just have the lotto computer pick them all?  (I know this would be an easier process to manage)
          • Do you have each member contribute the same dollar amount or do you let each member decide their share and then any winnings are distributed on a pecentage paid-in basis.  (again I know the same dollar amount would be easier)
          • Are you aware of any resources to put together an office pool?  I'm going to have each member sign an agreement.  It's a good start.

          Thanks to those of you who take the time to post your opinions on my questions.  I ask you all because there's no reason to reinvent the wheel I always say!

          Here's hoping you all have a happy and prosperous New Year.

          Hello Davidtn,

          I had a office pool going for about a year but had to stop it because people did not want to pay but still wanted to win, so I gave them all discharge letters and had them to sign and date a form that said that they had officially ended their ties with my pool.  I am going to be starting up a new one with a better staff and less people.

          **Each member can pick their own numbers or have QP's if they want or just do half and half

          **Each member had to contribute the same dollar amount...It was decided early on by the pool what dollar

          amount would be contributed on a weekly basis and we stook to that rule.

          **We too also had a lotterypool contract..  and we had only 1 person handling all the money to keep down    confusion.  I also gave out receipts for cash paid.

          It really looks like you are doing everything right.  The only thing I would say is keep a positive attitude and don't let your fellow pool members be negative.  A little negativity go a long way in making bad Karma!

           

          I hope you had a wonderful New Year and may the rest of 2009 be as fine as wine!!!

           

          KM

            Jack-C's avatar - us
            San Diego, CA
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            Posted: January 1, 2009, 7:49 pm - IP Logged

            The problem with members buying tickets themselves or picking their own numbers is what has happened before.  If that person's number is the winning number for millions of dollars ... you can guess what happens.  Strictly quick picks are the only way to go.

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              NY
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              October 16, 2005
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              Posted: January 2, 2009, 3:15 am - IP Logged

              There are  good reasons to avoid pools, but fear of a lawsuit isn't one of them. If you do get sued, congratulations. You'll almost certainly never be sued unless you win a sizable amount. That means you're a winner. Other than never winning, you can't do anything to guarantee that you won't be sued, but you can make it unlikely and you can make it a virtual certainty that you won't lose. There are really only two issues to be concerned about. One is who is a member of the pool, and the other is who owns the winning ticket(s). Most of the rest is just figuring out the little details, and as longas everyone is in agreement you probably won't have any problems.

              First, everything has to be in writing. Every member should have an original copy of the agreement. Every member should sign every copy and be witnessed by a notary.

              Second, don't even consider allowing people to be in some drawings, and not others. You'll just be begging to be sued by somebody who will argue that  it is your fault and not theirs that they were unable weren't allowed to participate, or they'll argue that they did participate and you're trying to cheat them out of their share. Even if you win you'll lose the legal fees. The pool can choose not to play until the jackpot gets to a certainlevel, or to play for every drawing, but make sure it's spelled out inthe agreement. If you still want to allow people to play or not for some reason, I'd suggest one of three options. 1. Treat each drawing as a separate pool. I would never consider the nightmare of dealing with that headache, but to each their own. 2. Have the agreement written by a lawyer. This will be expensive, and still won't guarantee that there isnt a legitimate dispute. 3. Reconsider, and require that every member participate fully.

              In addition to listing who is a member of the pool, the agreement should detail the procedure for removing somebody from the pool. That proceduree includes reasons for dropping somebody and how they will be notified.  I'd suggest that  they be notified by certified letter, sent early enough to ensure delivery before the first drawing for which they will be dropped. Another certified copy should be sent to the administrator, and it should be kept unopened until such time as it might be needed. Better still, swear an affidavit that the member has been dropped and notified. Somebody needs to be deputy administrator in case the adminstrator needs to be dropped.

              Don't expect things to work unless money is collected well in advance of the drawing. You want to be sure that all members have ample opportunity to make the payment, and you want time to send any notice that a member is being dropped.

              Third, you'll need to detail the rules on ticket purchases and how to establish which tickets are owned by the pool. The best way to do so is to choose your own numbers and list them in the agreement.  You'll be playing multiple games, so spell out how they'll be played on the tickets.  As an example, 10 games could be played as 2 tickets with 3 games and 1 ticket with 4 games.  Nobody can ever make a reasonable case that they  played the  pool's 3 or 4 sets of numbers by chance. As a practical matter that requires playing the same numbers for a period of time.

              Alternate possibilities include specifying where the tickets will be bought, requiring that any tickets bought as personal tickets be bought elsewhere, and that personal tickets are not bought until after pool tickets. Neither of those two options prevents a pool ticket being claimed by a spouse, relative, boyfriend, etc. if there isn't some other way to prove ownership by the pool. Many people are fond of making photocopies, but what happens if the pool administrator doesn't distribute copies before the drawing? Sure, somebody else can buy tickets and make copies, but if the administrator got the tickets but just didn't  get around to distributing copies what will you do? FWIW, if the pool then agreed to go out and buy tickets, you may have relinquished your claim to those bought by the administrator if you didn't cover that in the agreement.

              FWIW, your state's rules don't really matter in the decison about some players having multiple shares.  The pool can take a single check and then distribute the money. Letting somebody play multiple shares will reduce your share, but it increases your chances.

                Jack-C's avatar - us
                San Diego, CA
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                Posted: January 2, 2009, 9:06 am - IP Logged

                KY Floyd said:

                "FWIW, your state's rules don't really matter in the decison about some players having multiple shares.  The pool can take a single check and then distribute the money. Letting somebody play multiple shares will reduce your share, but it increases your chances."

                The single check does not work.  Not unless you are willing to pay income taxes on the FULL amount of the jackpot. 

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                  Posted: January 2, 2009, 5:31 pm - IP Logged

                  The IRS doesn't care whether the lottery writes the checks to the members or the pool administrator writes the checks. Each member is entitled only to their share, and that's what each member pay taxes on.

                    Jack-C's avatar - us
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                    Posted: January 2, 2009, 5:39 pm - IP Logged

                    The IRS doesn't care whether the lottery writes the checks to the members or the pool administrator writes the checks. Each member is entitled only to their share, and that's what each member pay taxes on.

                    The IRS cares about social security numbers.  When the state writes the check it reports that amount to the IRS, one SSN per check.

                    The person that receives THE check is responsible for the income tax on that amount.  That's why the State of California will pay checks to each member of a pool rather than just the "administrator".

                      Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
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                      Posted: January 3, 2009, 2:58 am - IP Logged

                      The IRS cares about social security numbers.  When the state writes the check it reports that amount to the IRS, one SSN per check.

                      The person that receives THE check is responsible for the income tax on that amount.  That's why the State of California will pay checks to each member of a pool rather than just the "administrator".

                      Plus, even if the "administrator" could distribute each member his/her share of the jackpot, how is it signified to the IRS that these are not gifts? Does the administrator write a letter to the IRS saying "I'm sending millions of dollars to each of these people. These people are legally entitled to the amount I send them. Do not gift tax me", or what????????????Confused

                      Gonna win.Big Smile

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                        Baton Rouge, LA
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                        Posted: January 3, 2009, 11:03 am - IP Logged

                        I'm a fairly bright fellow, but new to the Office Pool Lotto concept.  I know several board members have said they'd never play in an office pool for fear of lawsuit, etc. etc.  However, I've made the decision to put one together (we just had a million dollar winner in our small hometown) so I'm not asking whether I should do it or not.

                        To those of you who are much more knowledgeable I pose these questions:

                        • Do you let each member pick their own numbers or do you just have the lotto computer pick them all?  (I know this would be an easier process to manage)
                        • Do you have each member contribute the same dollar amount or do you let each member decide their share and then any winnings are distributed on a pecentage paid-in basis.  (again I know the same dollar amount would be easier)
                        • Are you aware of any resources to put together an office pool?  I'm going to have each member sign an agreement.  It's a good start.

                        Thanks to those of you who take the time to post your opinions on my questions.  I ask you all because there's no reason to reinvent the wheel I always say!

                        Here's hoping you all have a happy and prosperous New Year.

                        I've been running a pool in my office for a few years now and I can give you some advice.

                        We buy a mix of Powerball and Lotto tickets with the numbers being a combination of quick picks and members' picks.  This gives a pretty good mix of numbers in my opinion.

                        Payday in our office is every 2 weeks, and that is when I collect the money.  I charge $4/payday to each member, and I buy multidraw tickets to cover the 4 drawings that will occur over the next 2 weeks.  That makes things easier for me so I don't have to keep running to the store every few days to buy tickets and it makes it easier if we get a new member, we just buy one more Powerball or Lotto ticket.  When I get the tickets, I photocopy them and give copies to all members so they can check the numbers if they want to.  I find most of them don't, which kind of bothers me because I wish someone else would check just in case I make a mistake.

                        As for winnings, we haven't had the "big win" yet, but we have won some smaller amounts.  I have distributed them evenly in the past, and they would ask "Why don't you just buy more tickets," so now that is pretty much what I do with the small wins, $3, $5, $7, etc.  One time we did win $52, so I polled the members on what to do with the money, to buy more tickets, take the payout, give everyone a free ride that payday, etc.  Everyone opted for more tickets.  Another time we won $10 and the lottery was running its $10 Millionaire Raffle game so I polled the membership if we should get one of those tickets, or simply more Powerball/Lotto.  The majority opted for the Raffle so that is what I did.  Our agreement is if we hit the "big one," it will be split evenly amongst us.  We don't have a written agreement, just a general understanding that is what will be done.  Perhaps a written agreement would be a good option.

                        As for claiming the winnings, that varies from state to state.  Some states allow pools to claim, others like mine (Louisiana) do not.  My state allows only individuals and trusts, corporations, LLCs, etc. to claim.  For tax purposes though, there is a form from the IRS to fill out that can split the tax liability evenly amongst the membership.  The form is IRS 5754 and if you do get a win that is taxable, it will have to be filled out so all members pay their fair share of the taxes so it doesn't all fall on one person.  If we're going to have one person claim or set up a trust/corporation/LLC/etc to claim is something we haven't decided on yet, so we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  I've suggested we claim it anonymously, then if we have enough to quit our jobs, make an agreement to stagger when we do finally quit, because if we all leave at once, it may arouse suspicion.

                        I've also tried to keep the pool small, because it's easier to manage that way.

                        I hope I've helped but if you have more questions, I'll try to answer them the best I can.

                        Good luck.

                        Prisoner Six

                        "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

                          savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
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                          Posted: January 3, 2009, 11:12 am - IP Logged

                          where i live they actually have a split purchase of tickets, so if a pool buys say 5 shares it prints out  a coupon worth 1/5th of the prizes, and costing 1/5th.  a coupon can be handed to ea member. and your  pool manager job is done.

                          2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                          keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

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                            Baton Rouge, LA
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                            Posted: January 4, 2009, 9:44 am - IP Logged

                            where i live they actually have a split purchase of tickets, so if a pool buys say 5 shares it prints out  a coupon worth 1/5th of the prizes, and costing 1/5th.  a coupon can be handed to ea member. and your  pool manager job is done.

                            That is very interesting.  I know states will allow a pool to claim and issue separate checks, but I didn't know about that.  My state will only pay to one person, but using the IRS forms I mentioned in a previous post, they will split up the tax liability and issue W-2G forms to multiple people for a single jackpot.

                            Prisoner Six

                            "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

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                              Posted: January 5, 2009, 4:07 am - IP Logged

                              Plus, even if the "administrator" could distribute each member his/her share of the jackpot, how is it signified to the IRS that these are not gifts? Does the administrator write a letter to the IRS saying "I'm sending millions of dollars to each of these people. These people are legally entitled to the amount I send them. Do not gift tax me", or what????????????Confused

                              Are you serious? I'll assume you don't think that everybody who runs a business paysincome tax on every penny of gross income, and that when they filetheir tax return they don't have to write a letter to convince the IRSthat some of that gross income was spent on business expenses and shouldn't betaxed as income. Maybe you even have income from a business and have discovered that it's not a gift, and you pay income tax, rather than the business paying a gift tax? Maybe, just maybe, the IRS has been collecting taxes for long enough to work out the details. Rather than needing a letter, they have a forms. As prisoner6 points out, they've got a form that's specifically for distribution of gambling proceeds.