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The Legal Side of Group Lottery Pools

The Court of Appeal’s recent decision in a complex case involving a group lottery pool emphasizes the importance of keeping transaction and communication records when involved in a non-contractual agreement. In Spiro v. Koc et al 2016, the following facts were the subject of focus:

  • A lottery ticket was purchased in an office lottery pool.
  • An employee subsequently left the company and ceased participation in the pool. He did not inquire whether this previously purchased lottery ticket was a winner.
  • A newly hired employee joined the office lottery pool and discovered that the previously purchased lottery ticket won a free play ticket.
  • The office lottery pool used the free play to receive a new lottery ticket and won the $1 million reward on this ticket.

The court ruled that the newly hired employee was not entitled to receive a portion of the earnings because she joined the lottery pool after the date the initial ticket was purchased. The original employee was deemed entitled to receive these winnings because he participated in the original ticket purchase.

If you are involved in a group lottery pool at work, make sure to keep detailed records and copies of the tickets purchased in order to trace who contributed to which group purchases. Spiro v. Kroc demonstrates that an individual may be entitled to winnings even if he/she has stopped participating in a group lottery pool, as long as he/she can provide evidence of contributing to the winning lottery ticket.

Ferguson Barristers LLP has experience in dealing with lottery cases. If you’ve been involved in a similar situation, receive a free, no-obligation consultation by contacting our lawyers at 1-800-563-6348 or completing our online form.

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