If You Put In Some Money, You Got Some of the Candy
Do you remember all those times as a child your parents had to yell at you to share your toys with your siblings? Sure, we never really wanted to, but we had to because it was the right thing to do. Or, what about the time you and your friends pool your money together to get that bag of candy. Everyone understood that if you put in some money, you got some of the candy. It is just common decency and common sense.
Well, not everyone things that way it seems—especially when it comes to the lottery. There are hundreds of legal disputes of people who pool their money and purchase lottery tickets, and whoever goes out to buy said ticket refuses to share the winnings if the ticket is a winner. These are just a few of those disputes.
$2.5 Million Sick Pay
In 2011, Edward Hairston was out on sick leave for three months due to a back injury. Every month he and 22 fellow co-workers would pool their money to buy lottery tickets for the Mega Millions. During those three months Edward was out, he could not pitch in the monthly $5. Of course, as luck would have it, this would be when the group would win the lottery.
Edward sued his colleagues for his share of the winnings. He felt that he was entitled to some of the money because he had participated in the monthly draw every month for the past eight years. His co-workers said he was not entitled to a dime and the lawyer for the winners mentioned that two other employees who played in July but did not play in August had not sued. However, the group did have an unwritten policy that was in place for years that stated the other group members would cover for colleagues who were unable to make a monthly payment because of illness, vacation or other reasons.
Because of the dispute, the judged ordered that $2.8 million be set aside while the dispute was being settled. It is unclear if a decision has been made.
$7 Settlement Offered By Winners
Lawyers who represented seven members of a lottery pool offered to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims she was cut out of her share of $16 million to the tune of $7. That is right, seven whole bucks.
Jeanette French, 72, claimed that she was a regular participant for nine years in a bi-weekly lottery pool with seven other friends. Because she had been part of the group for so long, she feels she is entitled to part of the winning. She claims that members customarily covered the $1 buy-in fee for those who were short on money or were not present when the money was collected. It just so happened this one day, Jeanette was not at work.
Jeanette told the court that she had spoken to a co-worker about wanting to be part of the December 15th drawing, even though she would not be there to put her $1 in, so the colleague said he would cover her.
The group elected to take the immediate lump-sum payout of the jackpot, $9,254,720. All the lawyers involved agreed to put Jeanette’s portion in a trust until the dispute has been resolved.
Now, I could not find any follow up information on these two cases, but I surely hope these people got their share of the winnings. In my mind, if I am putting in my share of the pool every month for years (and covering for those who cannot put their share in), and the moment I am not able to put money in and we win… I had better get my share. If it is an unspoken, common practice to cover for those who are not able to pitch in, then damn straight I think those people should cough up the money. Greedy people suck.
What do you think? Should Edward and Jeanette have gotten their share of the winnings? Sound off!