This Sounds Like a "Lotto" Trouble

January 5, 2018

There's been some lottery-related conflict in the news as of late, and I'm wondering your thoughts on a couple of things. Have you ever participated in a lottery pool at work? Do you have any kind of guidelines when you do, like a written agreement? Or is a verbal, "we agree to split this prize if we win" enough for you? Personally? I don't trust anyone. If Greg, LB, Hsu, and I went in on a scratchie together, I don't think I'd be super concerned. Greg would want to prove he's not cheap, LB would be happy to share the wealth, and Hsu isn't going to let ANYONE get away with any kind of shenanigans. I'll admit, I've purchased lottery tickets with friends and exes in the past, and I've signed those bad boys right away. You aren't gonna cheat me out of my $2 share of this ticket.

A woman named Mandy Vanhouten works as a waitress in Stuttgart, Arkansas.  Her best friend, Leslie Underwood, also works there. Well, their boss gave them each five lottery scratchers for Christmas.  According to Leslie, he said that whatever they won they'd split as their Christmas bonus. And when Mandy scratched off one of her tickets, she won the grand prize:  $300,000.  She and Leslie were THRILLED and they agreed they'd cash it in after New Year's. At least . . . Leslie agreed to that plan.  Mandy had other ideas, and she went to cash in the ticket herself.  Now she's not showing up at work and not returning Leslie's calls. Leslie says she's planning on taking legal action if Mandy doesn't give her half of the money, but it could be tough . . . since Mandy is the only one who signed the back of the ticket and there's really no proof of their agreement to split it. 

Now, many many years ago, a friend of mine was about to purchase a scratch ticket at a convenience store. He let the person behind him go first, and that individual purchased the same type of ticket that he was planning to buy. He/she won four million dollars on that ticket. FOUR MILLION DOLLARS. Total stink of life. I saw a story this morning that was on the flip side of a story like this:

46-year-old Oksana Zaharov lives in New Jersey, and was shopping in Manhattan last week when she bought a lottery ticket. She wanted a $1 scratcher, but the clerk rang her up for a $10 ticket instead.  It was one of those "Set for Life" things where you can win $5,000 a week for 20 years. She says she didn't really want a $10 ticket, but felt bad about making the cashier re-ring it.  So she decided to just pay the ten bucks and leave. She ended up using it as a bookmark for a couple weeks before she finally scratched it off.  And when she did, she hit the JACKPOT - $5,000 a week for 20 years, which is about $5 million. She says she never wins anything, and thought someone pranked her at first.  But the ticket was legit.  She'll get one check each year for about 260 grand.  After taxes, that's roughly $172,000. She's planning a trip to the Caribbean to celebrate, and says she's excited her two kids can go to college now without worrying about student loans.