Kerikeri, New Zealand

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Thu, 27 October 2016

Lottery legal problems: are you a winner? - Tue, 18 October 2016

Legal news stories relating to lotto wins is a topic I enjoy. There have been some great cases in the past, in NZ and elsewhere. Couples fighting (did we pay for the ticket or just me?), families fighting (people pooling funds and then arguing about the payments). The list goes on.


I saw in the paper today another great story from the Lotto archives, this time from Australia.

You can read the full story here:

The headline was great: Man shut out of $40m Powerball win told to 'go and see a f***ing lawyer' court hears

In this good Australian case we have factory co-workers who have – apparently – purchased tickets as co-workers “for years”. Yet when one, specific, power ball was being drawn, members of the syndicate says they formed a “one off” group, and that other members of the ‘regular’ syndicate were not included in that new group.

Of course the group proceeded to win AUD$40,000,000.00.

This argument has now gone to Court.

It may seem ‘over the top’ but it seems like the best way to avoid these issues is to draw up and sign an agreement. All the contributes could sign and the agreement could record whether it was in respect of every lotto draw, or only particular draws, and if ‘super draws’ were excluded. The agreement could also detail how people would pay into the fund. Ideally this should be by automatic payment. If a person fails to pay into a fund and has agreed that they will, then the agreement should record that they will not receive a share.

It goes without saying that if such an agreement was drawn up properly there would be a little cost involved for each party, but depending on the size of the group it could be tiny. Especially when you now consider that the member’s share was $2,700,000.00 and that now that the case is in Court quite a few thousands of dollars will be spent in arguments.

It may sound like an odd sales pitch, but if you want assistance with anything like this, we would be happy to assist.


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