An unknown winner of the $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot has sparked a wave of lottery mania across the United States.
The life-changing fortune won by one person usually motivates others to consider how they can increase their fortune.
The lottery’s odds are extremely low, and buying more tickets is the only way to increase them.
Given the astronomically low odds of winning the lottery, it goes without saying that lavishing money on tickets is neither a good idea nor a sound investment.
Thankfully, lottery pools provide an alternative way for consumers to get their hands on more tickets without spending more money.
This could be an overstatement of the case. Lottery pools, on the other hand, are perfectly valid ways to enter the lottery.
Lottery pools are complex and risk-free to set up and manage.
For this reason, we have compiled this helpful reference on lottery pools, detailing their operation, benefits, and potential dangers.
What Is A Lottery Pool?
Lottery pools are groups of people that pool resources to purchase lottery tickets with the understanding that any winnings will be shared equally among those who contributed to the pool.
As previously stated, lotteries are games of chance in which players may only improve their odds by purchasing more entries.
For instance, the odds of winning the latest $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot were estimated by multiple media sites to be one in 302,575,350.
If a hypothetical player bought 100 tickets, the odds would rise to 100 in 302,575,350.
Why then do so many people who play the lottery buy a single ticket?
The high expense of participation is largely to blame. Most people cannot or will not risk substantial sums to improve their already slim odds of winning big.
After all, your chances of winning the jackpot are still quite low even with a hundred tickets.
That’s why a lot of people opt for lottery pools. Boost your winning potential without breaking the bank.
If a group of 100 people decided to combine their money and each buy a Mega Millions ticket, their odds of winning would be the same as if a single person bought 100 tickets.
The individual would get to retain all of the $1.337 billion for themself, while the lottery pool would have to divide the rewards 100 ways.
There is evidence that lottery pools can and do operate, but splitting the jackpot depends on people actually winning.
Twenty people who worked at the Quaker Oats plant in Iowa in 2012 were awarded $241 million. Meanwhile, 48 SEPTA employees took home $173 million that same year.
In both instances, the winners were able to settle their differences amicably, demonstrating the great potential of lottery pools if organized properly.
Why Are They Associated With Offices?
Although lottery pools are a common social phenomenon, they are most commonly linked with groups of coworkers, particularly those in the workplace.
There are a few hypothesized causes for the popularity of office lottery pools beyond monetary gain.
In fact, a number of workplaces use lottery pools to foster friendships among employees. This is because it gives workers something to talk about together, which might pave the way for new friendships to develop.
As a matter of fact, due to the high population density typically found at workplaces, enormous lottery pools may form. There is a statistically greater possibility of success with larger pools.
Because of this, it’s smart to form lottery pools with coworkers rather than with close friends or family.
How To Set Up A Lotto Pool
In a business situation, where the number of participants may be large, setting up a lottery pool correctly necessitates high levels of organization and openness.
1. Form Your Team
Membership recruitment always steps one, no matter the context.
It’s best practice to let everyone know if the pool is being set up in a workplace setting.
That way, no one in the firm will feel left out or alienated, and the top brass can rest easy knowing the lottery pool will go as planned.
2. Set The Rules
After reaching out to everyone and compiling a list of players, you’ll need to make two choices.
The first is whether or not players are required to participate each week or if they have the option to play only when they want to.
The second variable is the cost of entering each draw. This could be the cost of a single ticket or the cost of ten or more.
The distribution of any possible earnings can be simplified if all participants put in the same amount of money each week.
Some companies may find it useful to create an internal “bank” to compensate employees absent for extended periods of time during the week due to illness or meeting with clients.
This ensures that all employees’ money is collected for each weekly draw, even if they can’t be reached or aren’t in the office at the time of the draw.
3. Buy The Tickets
The registration fees for the week should be pooled and used by one person to purchase a set number of tickets.
After receiving the tickets, they should be stored safely.
Now all there is to do is wait for the draw and cross your fingers that you get lucky!
Lottery Pool Dos And Don’ts
Even though putting out a lottery pool is a breeze, there are several things you should keep in mind to make sure it’s fair and effective for everyone involved.
Do Assign A Leader
An established leader is the first and most important requirement for any lottery pool.
This individual will manage the lottery pool’s finances, buy tickets, and keep everyone in the loop.
Having a leader guarantees that the weekly procedures are carried out without fail, and gives the players someone they can go to with any issues or queries.
Do Make Sure You Sign A Contract
Second, make sure all commitments are documented formally.
Some who view the lottery pool as a casual activity may balk at signing a contract, but there are plenty of verbal agreements breaking down when millions of dollars are at stake.
No one can dispute who was playing or how the profits were divided if everything is laid out in writing and signed by all parties.
Ensure that the organizer distributes duplicate tickets
The person in charge of the lottery pool should always provide copies of the tickets to the other participants after buying them.
This is crucial because it ensures that the pool leader doesn’t just take the money for the tickets and keep it for themselves, or that he or she doesn’t use one of the tickets to win the jackpot for themselves.
According to NBC News, this pattern has prompted several lottery groups to sue their executives.
Criminal and civil litigation attorney Jason Kurland emphasized the significance of this procedure in an interview with Time Magazine:
“Consider scenarios where one person acts as the pool’s “leader,” amassing funds and purchasing all the tickets. If things are handled properly, the leader could avoid ending up with a winning ticket but the rest of the group might not trust them. It’s especially unnerving in states where the winner remains secret; no one will ever know who won if the tickets aren’t photocopied.”
Make a Deal About the Distribution of Prize Money
Little prizes from the lottery are usually not worth dividing among many pool members, thus it’s important that everyone in the pool agree on what to do with them.
It’s common practice for small victories to be reinvested in the pool through additional tickets or the purchase of refreshments like coffee for the participants.
Don’t Use Cash
While paying with cash has the benefit of being immediately accessible, its lack of a paper trail can present complications down the road.
Digital money transfers leave a paper trail that can be used as evidence in a dispute over the distribution of winners.
Forbid Verbal Commitments
Verbal agreements should be avoided for the same reasons that cash transactions should be avoided.
Don’t rely on verbal agreements or IOUs when substantial quantities of money are at stake; instead, put everything in writing.
Are Office Lottery Pools Legal?
The legality of office lottery pools in the United States depends largely on where you work.
This is because state rules governing gambling, of which lottery pools are a part, govern the matter.
There shouldn’t be any issues with office lottery pools in places like Nevada, where gambling is legal and extensively encouraged.
Of course, the inverse is also true, so if you’re thinking of starting a lottery pool, you should read up on the topic beforehand.
To avoid breaking the law, residents in places like Utah should avoid forming lottery pools.
Moreover, since office lottery pools are held on company property and during working hours, obtaining prior approval from the firm’s owner or manager is usually prudent.
Finally, federal regulations prohibit any government employee or civilian contractor from engaging in any form of gambling, including real money lottery games, even in jurisdictions where it is legal.
Thus, lottery pools are not allowed in these settings.