Lottery syndicates are a great and cost-efficient way to boost your chances of winning. Not any kind of chances, impactful ones! However, whenever a large group of people agrees on indulging in any activity, problems can arise, mainly because people change their mind. People are uncertain, they bring a lot of variables along with them. The more people involved, the bigger the variables.
Over the past 30 years, there’ve been many cringe-worthy situations when a member or a former member of the syndicate gets the boot when the syndicate wins the jackpot.
Sometimes the Opportunity Does Not Present Itself
Before I become all judgmental, I must say this. Sometimes, it just wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes, the opportunity simply does not present itself. As I said, people change their mind, and some do it too often. A good share of the stories listed below are triggered because of exactly this. Nevertheless, people are reasonable beings, and most of these have had a win-win outcome. Then again, as you will see, there are some pretty greedy and unreasonable players.
The lesson of the day is, read carefully and try to share these with your lottery syndicate mates. It’s the best way to avoid them down the road. You never know where and when will the lightning strike. Who knows, this just might be it!
Not Such a “Royal” Deed – Mr. King from New South Wales
Now, for the most part, whenever something like this happens, it has a lot to do with colleagues changing their mind if they want to take part in the lottery, alongside their office mates. However, this one’s a bit different, at least, as the “loser” in this case says it. Brendan King from New South Wales was excluded from the lottery prize of a little over $2.5m. Why? Well, as Robert Adams explains, King knowingly didn’t make his contribution. As such, he is not eligible for a share of the lottery prize.
Brendan King took his colleagues to court. Nevertheless, he lost the case. According to the Supreme Court of NSW, Mr Adams was not obliged to pay on Mr. King’s behalf. Why King didn’t pay his share? Unfortunately, King arrived half an hour late, after Adams left the workplace. As I stated in the previous paragraph of this article, sometimes, the opportunity does not present itself. Brendan King was known as a regular contributor to his previous workplace. Sadly, he missed the chance to become a lottery winner!
How Could You Leave Out a Pregnant Woman Out of the Draw?
This case takes us to Merseyside, featuring a pregnant mom named Louisa Whitby. She was in a similar situation like our aforementioned “unfortunate star” Brendan King. Louisa left the office because of morning sickness. After all, you never know when pregnancy will make you leave the office and get some rest. Because of this early leave, she didn’t pay for the pool for the upcoming draw.
Paul Crowley and Co Solicitors staff became £28m richer, however, Louisa didn’t get a cut. Paula Satchell who is a partner in the company stated they will not give £300,000 from each of the member’s cuts.
Here’s where it gets complicated. She was offered to pay for the upcoming draw when she gets back to work. Although the draw took place before she came back to work, she was denied a £2.5m share of the jackpot. Louisa is crushed! She contributed 2 years in a row to the office lottery syndicate. It’s really unfortunate this pregnant woman won’t get her share of the prize. Personally, I think this is unfair.
To be honest, £2.5m is still a lot of money when compared to the £300,000 they’d given to Louisa. For what it’s worth, it’s their decision.
There’s a Watson Who Solved a Case Without Sherlock’s Help
Merseyside, Liverpool and Louisa are bitter one level higher. This “Watson” story takes us back to Australia, this time around in Melbourne. However, Danny Watson did win the case in court, and I must say I’m really happy for him. Although the prize amount is not overwhelming, $86,700 per play, this is a huge victory and a precedent for future lottery syndicate disputes.
According to witnesses, it was pretty common for Danny Watson to pay Mr Pezzin, the owner of the outlet, not on Saturdays, but on Mondays instead. Once this was brought forward, it was a clear cut case that Danny Watson deserves a share of the prize.
Watson’s name was written down on the list of syndicate participants, in spite of not paying prior to the draw. After all, this was an internal agreement he had with Mr Pezzin, that he’s paying when the work week starts.
Rich Semelsberger – the Unluckiest Lottery Loser
It’s time to visit the USA, we’re going to Barrington Hills, Illionois. Also, we’re going back in time, in May 1989. Officer Rich Semelsberger joined the squad a few weeks before his 14 colleagues won $8.3m, which at that time was a more than you expect. According to the rules of this office lottery syndicate, any willing parties had to write their name on a $5 bill and stick it in the locker of an officer who’s working overnight.
Rich had a good reason to deny this offer, according to him, the $20,000 salary was not enough. Unfortunately for him, this was a bad call. After all, a share of the $8.3m would’ve made his life a whole lot easier. He was not the only loser. There were other colleagues who didn’t throw in $5. All of them are devastated to this very day. The bitterness was apparent, but in time, they managed to deal with their bad decision. In spite of the huge loss, Rich has found a silver lining. In his own words, he’s happy about his 28 year law enforcement career. Now, he’s the police chief of the said station!
An Unfortunate Case, Des Plaines, 1996
I already showed you two cases in which colleagues were left out because they weren’t present in the office to pay their contribution. This one’s even better. An anonymous woman, because I didn’t know the name of the said lady, didn’t get a share of a $12m lottery prize. However, she was present, and she was willing to pay. Here’s the kicker. Nobody had change for $20! I cannot even imagine how she felt once she found out that her coworkers became millionaires, and she won’t get her share because nobody had change for $20! I mean, really?!
Life is cruel, so are people, so is the lottery, so are colleagues.
Hazel Loveday Made a Grave Decision at the Worst Possible Time
Not the exact moment, 6 months to be precise. Ms. Hazel Loveday had left the lottery syndicate 6 months before the biggest moment of the her life could’ve taken place. Why she left the syndicate? £2 per week was too much for her. At the time, she was a single mother, so I totally understand her.
Some of the syndicate members wanted to give a share of their personal winnings to Ms Loveday, but the majority decided otherwise. Because of this, Hazel didn’t receive any money. However, one of the members stated that even if they were to give some money to her, they’d done it privately. This is why I hope Hazel did get at least some consolation prize, in spite of not contributing to the pool.