Maybe you’ve put five dollars into the office lottery pool, the same way you have every week you’ve worked there. Or maybe you and a couple friends all throw some money together to buy a couple tickets. You do this every week hoping to win, except this week you’ve actually won the jackpot. What next? How do you share the winnings?
Nobody imagines there will be any issues when sharing a lottery win with friends or coworkers, but it does happen. Fortunately, sharing lottery winnings isn’t always this complex. Here we have some examples – good and bad – of people who shared their lottery winnings.
Usually there isn’t a problem when coworkers and friends are sharing a lottery win. Typically people will split the money equally in their group and everyone is content. This happened recently when a group of 9 coworkers in Guelph, Ontario won the lottery. The 9 employees peacefully split their $60 million jackpot between them without any dispute. They have big plans for it, too.
Another group of coworkers in Ontario won a 60 million draw. The five friends had been buying lottery tickets together for over a decade before they hit the jackpot. After winning, they peacefully split the jackpot among themselves with no disputes. This is the ideal situation. However, this isn’t always the case.
Disputes in the Media
When you win the lottery, you can be sure that some people will want their share of it. But sometimes people in the office who haven’t contributed or who contributed less become greedy, and sometimes people simply don’t want to share the winnings.
In 2012, a group of 12 coworkers in Illinois won $118 million in the lottery. They were prepared to share it between the 12 of them, until 11 other coworkers claimed they were also part of the pool and deserved part of the winnings. It took 3 years to settle the dispute. In the end, everyone involved received a portion of the 118 million.
It’s not just coworkers who fight over their lottery winnings, either. Just last year a Nova Scotia woman told her nephew she would see him in court after they won a 1.2 million Chase the Ace jackpot. She didn’t want to share the winnings equally with her nephew because she claimed the ticket was hers. The pair settled the dispute outside of court, but aren’t sharing the winnings equally.
Avoid the Issues
If you want to avoid any disputes with your coworkers, family, or friends, there’s a very simple solution. Have a contract in place. Before you start putting money into an office lottery pool, get everything in writing. Most importantly, make sure you identify every person involved in the pool. This way if you win there’s no confusion about who is involved and how you’re going to split the winnings. And, if you do end up having to go to court, you will have evidence of who was involved and who should split the money. You may want to seek legal advice, either as a group or individually, regarding such a contract with your coworkers.
If you’ve won the lottery with your coworkers, make sure you take some time to cool off and consider what to do as a group. And, if you want to know more about privacy rules and what to do when you win big, keep following the Jackpot Lawyer blog.
Author: Danielle Mohr
Danielle is a professional copywriter and editor who provides services to Jackpot Lawyer on a contract basis. She has a broad range of experience in business marketing and is highly motivated to help businesses generate leads, increase sales, and promote growth.
Danielle has worked on websites, corporate blogs, and manuals for professionals, trades, government-funded organizations, and international corporations. Her work is driven by a strong passion for continued learning and she enjoys the challenge that comes with forging connections in the digital realm.
Danielle is the owner of Fine Point Writing & Editing based in Edmonton, Alberta.