Alas, I did not win the $656 million dollar jackpot. The best I did was win $4.
While no winner has been officially identified, The New York Post is reporting that a McDonald's employee in Maryland has claimed the winning ticket. Her story sounds a little sketchy, but if she is indeed the winner, the woman may have a fight on her hands if she wants to receive all her winnings.
This is because she was the buyer of the tickets for her coworkers' office pool. She and other McDonald's employees allegedly all put in $5 for a bunch of tickets. If any of the tickets won, then they would all split the money.
The woman claims the ticket that won was not part of the pool, but a separate ticket she bought herself.
The debate over all this makes me mad. Because it seems unfair that idiots can win so much money.
I was responsible for buying the tickets for my office pool. Yet, I will not be divvying up the $4 I won among the 13 others who contributed. The winning tickets I bought separately, for myself. And there's no way my coworkers can argue against that. Why? BECAUSE I SENT THEM ALL OUR POOL LOTTERY NUMBERS IN AN EMAIL BEFORE THE DRAWING.
If you do this, THERE'S NO DEBATE. No lawsuits after the fact. It would be impossible for you to know what the winning ticket would be beforehand (if you did, you certainly wouldn't need to go into an office pool). So when you send everybody the numbers pre-drawing, nobody has an argument if different numbers--the ones you purchased for yourself-- end up being the winner. There's a paper trail, undeniable. It's an unbeatable system.
An AP article today states, "Numerous group winners have been sued by people claiming to have pitched in for the ticket, creating messy fights over what money will be left once the attorneys are paid. And most state lotteries don't give much official guidance on how to avoid such problems."
The reason why the state lotteries don't give people guidance on office pools? BECAUSE ITS F-ING OBVIOUS!
So consider this blog post a guide on how to run an office pool:
Step 1. Who's in? Write down the names and emails of everyone in the pool.
Step 2. Check off their name when you receive their payment. (My pool only put in $1 each, but I know some people put in a lot more.)
Step 3. After giving everyone a last chance to contribute, buy the tickets for the number of people who have paid up (including yourself). Put these tickets aside.
Step 4. Buy whatever tickets you want to buy for yourself. Keep them separate from the ones you bought for the office pool.
Step 5. Email the group (only those who have paid up for the pool) the numbers on the tickets you bought for them.
Step 6. Then wait for the drawing. Good luck!!
That's really not so hard, people.
If you use these guidelines for your office lottery pool, then simply send me part of the winnings as a thank you. You can afford it.