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Cha-ching! How to protect yourself and your money in a Powerball office pool

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
LISTEN: KTAR Legal Analyst Monica Lindstrom - Protecting self in Office Lottery Pool

With $1.5 billion on the line, the current Powerball jackpot is no joke. Many companies and businesses — including here at KTAR News — are trying their hand at becoming multimillionaires by creating an office lottery pool with a multitude of coworkers.

But, in the one-in-292-million chance of taking home the grand prize, how can you protect yourself and your earnings?

KTAR News’ Legal Analyst Monica Lindstrom said, first things first, coworkers need to put someone they trust in charge of the pool.

“Make sure that person is somewhat trustworthy,” she said in an interview with Pamela Hughes and Mike Russell, who is standing in for Bruce St. James. “Because sometimes when people get in charge of a lot of money, they morph into some creature.”

Lindstrom said the chosen ringleader of the pool needs to be prepared to take on the responsibilities that come with running and keeping track of a large operation, including putting everything in writing.

“Send out e-mails and respond (saying) ‘I’m bring over $5 now’ and walk over so you have a paper trail,” she said.

Lindstrom also recommended writing down the names of people who are participating in the pool and then distributing the list to the entire office so everyone can see.

The person in charge of the pool should not wait until the last minute and go out and purchase tickets right away, Lindstrom said. They should also photocopy all of the tickets and attach them to an office-wide e-mail so everyone knows where their money is at.

Lindstrom recommended that a contract be drafted and signed for all coworkers to have in writing that they gave a certain amount of dollars to the pool and, if one of the tickets won, everyone would get an equal share of the lump sum.

“There’s just a couple simple things to put down in writing, be transparent and be ultra clear as to who’s involved, what the decisions are, that kind of thing,” she said. “That’s what you should do, or otherwise you don’t protect yourself.”

What kind of prize should you expect to split with your coworkers if you find yourself with the winning ticket? The lump sum of the winnings would come out to about $697.5 million, according to USAMega.com.

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