Dispute Over Winning Mega Millions Ticket

Most groups purchasing lottery tickets know that you must share and record all the numbers for a group purchase and store the ticket(s) in a mutually accepted place. But the $640 million Mega Millions drawing last weekend enticed a lot of new players to participate. And Mirlande Wilson of Baltimore, Maryland, has a fight on her hands over who owns the winning ticket.
Wilson, a single mother of seven children, admits that she did contribute to the McDonald’s “office” pool, but swears that she purchased the winning ticket separately with her own cash. “We had a group plan, but I went and played by myself. [The ‘winning’ ticket] wasn’t on the group plan,” Wilson told the New York Post, insisting she alone bought one of the three tickets that will split the record $656 million payout.

Her co-workers disagree. Suleiman Osman Husein, a shift manager and one of 15 members in the pool told the Post, “We each paid $5. She took everybody’s money!” Further corroborating Husein’s version was a man identified by the Post only as Allen, who was also part of the pool. He said Wilson bought tickets for the group at the 7-Eleven in Milford Mill, which is where the winning ticket was sold.

Further complicating the case is a security recording at the convenience store where the ticket was purchased, which may show that the winning ticket was purchased by a man. Link

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Well I would think that all the groups tickets were purchased at the same time... check the timestamp on the non-winning tickets vs the winning one. If the winning ticket was bought at the same time as the non-winning tickets then I would say something may be up.
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OK, here is how you prevent this from happening to you. If you are a part of an office pool you buy the group tickets and take pics of the tickets or photocopy them or whatever and share them with everyone in the group before the drawing. That will give them a list of what numbers belong to the group. If you buy your own tickets then they will not be on the list. If you win on your own you can show the group that their tickets lost but your personal ticket won. I am sure there will still be some people who would sue anyway but if you cover yourself at the beginning then it makes it very hard for them to get very far with it. I am quite sure this handy dandy advice will be very useful to the thousands of Neatorama readers who are involved in officer lottery pools and have personal winning numbers coming up in the next year or two. Kudos on that by the way.
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