Personal Injury To Your Pocketbook Via The Lottery
Who doesn’t dream of winning the lottery? And what better way to increase your chances than to pool money with friends or colleagues with an agreement to split the winnings should they come your way. Plenty of others have employed just that strategy, and it has worked. Unfortunately, dividing the prize doesn’t always prove to be as simple as you might wish.
Disputes among Lottery Winners
You might think that winning the lottery would bring out the best in people, but the unfortunate fact is when there’s a big pot of cash to be shared, people can get greedy. Consider the following:
- In 2016, a Florida woman was sued for a chunk of her $1 million winnings. The woman’s former boyfriend claimed the couple had agreed to share any winnings, and a jury found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him nearly $300,000.
- When seven California employees pooled their resources and won a $315 million lottery in 2005, four co-workers wanted in on the winnings. The conflict had to be settled with a lawsuit.
- After 24 Canadian workers won $50 million to share, a 25th man demanded a share of the pot. His claim was that he’d organized the office pool, and that he was entitled to winnings, even though he hadn’t contributed any money to the winning ticket. After three years, the group settled out of court.
- Coworkers at a Florida golf club had been pooling their money every week for nine years in hopes of purchasing a winning lottery ticket. When one woman was absent one week, she asked a friend to spot her the money until she was able to return to work. Well, that was the week the group won $16 million, and guess what? The refused to share with their friend who’d been absent on the day of the purchase.
Avoiding the Battles
While most of us will never have cause for such a battle, it’s definitely worth taking steps to avoid this type of dispute if you do choose to collaborate to purchase lottery tickets. Common sense measures that are enacted while heads are cool can help to ensure lottery winners remain friends even after pocketing the big bucks:
- Be clear about who is in on the deal and who is not. Keep a written account of how much money each person contributed to the pool and what percentage of winnings each individual is entitled to. It’s probably a good idea to get a signature from each member of the group on the agreement to ensure an incident-free dispersal.
- Let everyone know the details of the deal, including the numbers of the lottery tickets purchased. One recommendation is to photograph the tickets and send them via email to every participant.
- Be sure to differentiate between company money and personal funds.
- Secure the tickets in a safe place.
Agreements that Help you Avoid Courtrooms
If you enter into any agreement with coworkers or anyone else, doing it right can save you hassles, time and money. So whether it’s pooling money to purchase lottery tickets or making an agreement for contracted services, if you experience personal injury because someone else isn’t holding up their end of the bargain, the personal injury team at The Law Offices of Robert W. Elton can help. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach today for a free, confidential consultation.