Office wins huge lottery, what about that one guy?

This actually happened to my brother’s sister-in-law and her husband.

Their office of about 20 people had a pool, which neither of them participated in. The pool won £3million between them.*

Ok, it’s not £3 billion, but still. Note to the wise - if you both work in the same office, at least one of you should join the office pool.

  • They didn’t share it with the SIL and husband, for the OPs record.

If he’s never participated in the pool, he probably shouldn’t get a share. If it’s a one-off miss then he should. A huge win divided by 12 vs it divided by 11 is a minimal difference. You’d each earn that back in interest alone within a year.

I’d base my decision entirely on how we anticipated Jerry might feel for missing out. If he didn’t care, no worries, see ya Jerry. If he was disappointed and would lose his job now we were all retiring, that might make a big difference.

I would tend to go along with the group on this but would resist giving him a full share. If Jerry can come out of this richer by somewhere between 100K and one million bucks then I’d be good with this. If the majority of the group wanted to tell him to take a hike, I’d probably toss him a couple years salary on my own initiative.

One this I have not seen mentioned is what to do with the owner. I’m of the opinion that whatever Jerry gets should also be given to the owner. He’s been fair with us and we’ve enjoyed working there. Our inevitable departure is going to cause him some degree of disruption to his business. I certainly wouldn’t offer a full share but why shouldn’t the owner get some degree of a payday from this?

No way do I give him a full share, not even remotely considering it. However, in the spirit of kindness, I would endeavor to convince my co-winners to pony up $50-100k each to net Jerry a nice boost to his retirement nest egg.

I’d maybe buy him a car or something, but nothing more than that. There’s people in my life I’d give huge presents too long before Jerry.

But for maybe $10k each, you could pay someone to murder Jerry in his bed.

P.S. This was a plot line in the TV show Windfall, about a group of friends who decide to buy a bunch of lottery tickets while they’re at a house party, and wind up winning. IIRC, it was the hostess of the party who didn’t pitch into the ticket pool, so they had a bit more of an incentive (“We never would have even bought the tickets if she hadn’t thrown the party”) to include her.

I would buy his mortgage note and change the terms to 0.05%, with no late payment fee (pay what you can when you can, it is going almost entirely to the principle). That would at least take a lot of pressure off him.

What kind of wine did she serve?

Were there just Costco mini quiche and a couple cases of Bud Light or a gourmet spread of imported Tuscan charcuterie and mesquite BBQ Alaskan jumbo scallop skewers?

You got to be in it to win it. Jerry gets nothing.

The most I’d give him is the current max yearly amount of the gift tax, because I’m too lazy to do the bookkeeping otherwise. If everyone from the office pool did that, he’d have a few hundred thousand for his non-troubles. I might not do even that, though, I’m not sure.

If I like him, I might toss him a gift, just as I’d be tossing gifts to a lot of other folks I know. But he certainly doesn’t get a full share: He had that option, and chose against it.

I would congratulate Jerry on avoiding all those lawyers, taxes, and needy friends and relatives that come out of the woodwork.

Yeah, the hell with Jerry. I’d probably not pester him about the $5 he borrowed last week for lunch, but I’d expect him to pay me back.

Nobody owes Jerry anything. As the saying goes (slightly modified)- “You don’t pays your money, you takes your chances.” He knew the risks going in.

I’d be the other way. I’d give him $100,000 (nice but not really life changing) but unless asked, would not mention it to anyone else in the pool; it’s their own business what they want to do.

Offer Jerry $1,000,000 to let me hunt him for sport. I’m rich now, so I can do those things.


I don’t actively DISLIKE EVERYONE I work with, but after my last day of work (for whatever reason) I don’t expect to see ANY of them again.

I like to think I’d be extremely generous if I were wealthy. Towards my friends, family, and individuals/organizations/causes I thought worthwhile. But I don’t see any reason to extend that generosity to Jerry.

I get that the office bought tickets as a group, but Jerry chose not to participate and is now in the same group as everyone’s close friends, children, spouses, close family, distant relatives, random strangers.

So whatever the individual winners want to give him is up to them.

I agree with this premise.

Also, I don’t want to be Jerry, ESPECIALLY if I then have to live through massive turnover. When I buy into workplace lottery pools, I call it “Rapture Insurance”.

Say the numbers did not hit. Would Jerry offer to give me the $2 I lost because he felt bad for me? No? Well alrighty then.
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