Office wins huge lottery, what about that one guy?

You work for a small business. Your office, including you, is 12 people total. Everyone in the office is the same “rank,” earning roughly the same salary, and you all report directly to the owner. You’ve all worked together for at least 5 years, and some have worked there together much longer.

The lottery jackpot is up to a ridiculously huge number. Everyone in the office, except Jerry, pays in exactly two dollars and you buy a bunch of tickets.

Jerry is a very friendly, pleasant person. You don’t have any real insight into Jerry’s finances (who really knows about their coworkers finances?), but from office conversation we know he’s middle-aged, married, with a mortgage and a pair of teenage kids and a set of aged parents. Jerry has worked in the office as long as anybody. Everyone in the office likes Jerry, and Jerry likes everyone in the office. But Jerry just doesn’t believe they’re going to win the lottery and he keeps his two dollars.

One of your tickets wins the jackpot. You and ten of your coworkers just won a cool $1 billion. :eek::eek::eek:

You all get together to celebrate and make plans, and then the subject of Jerry comes up. You’re all planning to quit the office sooner or later, mostly sooner. The owner is independently wealthy and does not need the business to survive, so he could re-staff, or he could just fold up shop, nobody knows what he’s going to do.

What do you do about Jerry?

Fuck Jerry. That’s why everyone should contribute to the office lotto pool.

I’m keeping my $42 million and if someone wants to cut Jerry in out of their share good luck to them both.

I need to know more about Jerry. Is he sociable, or does he keep to himself? If everyone goes out for a beer after work on Friday, does he go with, or go home? Is he the kind of guy who goes out with coworkers for lunch but never seems to pick up the check?

Yeah, I don’t like Jerry. Screw him.

I would be Jerry. I don’t like gambling and would never participate in a lottery pool. And I certainly wouldn’t expect to get paid if the pool actually won.

Okay, think of someone you work with, or have ever worked with, that you like and know pretty well, have worked with them for a while, you may have spent time with them outside of work once or twice, you may have met their SO, but you don’t really consider them a “close” friend. You might invite them to a BIG party or barbecue at your home, and be surprised if they showed up, but they’d never be on your short list for a small get-together. They’re a friend, but a “work friend.”

That’s who Jerry is.


Buy him a box of suckers.

If I had $42 million after taxes I’d throw him several million out of my share. Why not? The difference to me would be effectively nil.

I’d give him a few thousand but only as a gift and because I can now afford it out of the millions I won.

“You’ve got to be in it to win it.”

my dad is one of those who thinks a lottery is a tax on stupidity but before he retired hed toss in 5 or 10 when such things occurred just to be sociable …only time the shop won was 1000 one december so they just had a better xmas party than normal at the golden corral…

For his part, Jerry appears to be legitimately happy for everyone, and does not ever ask anyone for anything.

If it was me, I would encourage everyone to kick in $100K for jerry. Little shit against our winnings, but a hell of a boost to him.

Mentally, the way I see it, Jerry’s part of the group, but not as strong a part of the group as your own family or the others in the office who contributed.

So I’d give something. But the amount would depend on what the others in the group thought. If everyone else in the office wants to leave Jerry in the cold, I’d give him a few thousand.

If everyone else wants to give him 100k each, I’d do it.

If everyone wants to give him a million+ or an equal share - enough to make a material difference to me personally - I’d probably try to negotiate it down a bit below the threshold where it makes a difference to me. Depends on how much exactly as to whether I’d pay the same as the group or pay less.

We give him a significant amount, but not a full share. Even if we give him a full share… I can live on $83M as comfortably as on $90.9M. Jerry’s a good guy, and we can afford to be generous.

This is why I always contribute to office pools – I don’t want to be Jerry.

In the extremely unlikely event the office wins, I don’t want to be the lone guy in the office who has to come in to work afterwards. (It’s also the only time I play the lottery.)

It 100% depends on how much I like him. Assuming I’ve just won 90 mil, and assuming I like him as much as most of the people I actually work with, I’d probably give him a hundred grand.

I’d vote we slide him a not insignificant amount - say, $1 000 000 each.

That should stop him murdering us all in our beds, I think.

Do nothing. Someone has to be Jerry. I have said at work that it’s good that so-and-so isn’t in the lotto pool, we need one person to make that sacrifice so that the rest of us can win.

If you give Jerry a share you will all wake up in the morning to find that winning lotto was just a dream.

We need one more data point: How did Jerry not pay?

Did somebody ask him to join the pool, and then he refused?
Did nobody even glance at him, just giving him a cold shoulder?
Did he insult you, saying openly "you guys are stupid for wasting your money?
And,actually, I think we need an additional data point: will we ever see Jerry in the future?

If we live in a big city and all quit our jobs, we may never see him professionally , but we may see him at the grocery store.
If we live in a smaller town, and after winning, some of us keep working part time or stay in contact with other people in our field( just because we’re interested in it and enjoyed it professionally), will we see Jerry again in a formal setting?
Will our kids ever want to play with his kids?
If we all quit our jobs on the same day and the business closes, will Jerry be unemployed and unable to feed his family?
Now me…I’d like to think that I’m a really, really really nice guy. So in any case, I’d want Jerry to get an equal share.
But I have feeling that I’m never gonna have to put my “nice-guyness” to this test.

However, if any of you have a spare billion laying around, I’m open to the challenge. :slight_smile:
(Oh another minor data point: the only guy named Jerry who I ever worked with was an asshole assistant manager at McDonalds 50 years ago. That’s one Jerry who won’t get nothin’ from me.) :slight_smile:

Jerry seems to be doing just fine. If I’m gonna give money away, there are many people who need the money more than Jerry, and there are many organizations more worthy of the money than Jerry. The only way I’m giving Jerry a full share is if he’s regularly part of the pool and just happens to miss a week because he’s sick, out-of-town on company business, etc.