Beware of sharks swimming in your office lottery pool
But if you join an office lottery pool, you may want to consult a lawyer first. Some workers who had thought they struck it rich have wound up in bitter litigation over who was really in the pool and who wasn’t.
Lawsuits involving lottery pool winnings have been common enough to create a new set of case law, said Russ Weaver, a University of Louisville law professor. A cursory Google search shows some “Lotto lawyers” across the country who specialize in such disputes.
“Be very careful in advance,” Weaver advised. “One thing you don’t want to do is end up in litigation. Attorneys will eat up quite a bit of your winnings.”
Weaver’s advice for people who want to join workplace lottery pools: Make photocopies of the group lottery tickets and distribute them to members before the drawing so there’s clear proof which tickets belong to the group and which belong to individuals.
Weaver said you need to be able to show, “Did you make the decision before or after the numbers came out?”