Lotto legalities: The business of entering office pools

Posted at 8:19 AM, Mar 30, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-30 09:24:34-04

RICHMOND,Va. (WTVR) -  Your odds of winning the record $540 million dollar prize in Friday's Mega Million's jackpot are 1 in 176 million. But if you're joining a last-minute, office pool anyway, you better put the pact in writing.

That's according to lottery officials who say you should write down specifics like the deadline for collecting money and who holds the tickets. You also want to write down if play is limited to certain people.

Lottery experts also suggest specifying a lottery pool leader. Make sure you copy both the front and back of the tickets, which contain serial numbers.

You want to get a copy of those tickets to everyone in the pool. Contract attorney, Deborah Barron, says this safeguards you from being sued.

"If everyone put in the same amount of money and they're going to share equally, then that should be stated. There have been a multitude of lawsuits over the years, over winning lottery tickets," said Barron.

Lottery officials also advise that the designated pool leader needs to be well organized- someone who can collect the money, buy the tickets, and get all the players names and phone numbers distributed to everyone in the pool.

And just so everyone is clear, it's also advised that the leader lets everyone in the office pool know if he or she plans on buying lottery tickets outside of the pool before the drawing.