Warning to Lottery Syndicate Members
10 people shared a £28 million EuroMillions prize and an 11th missed out because she had missed a payment while off work with morning sickness.
Managing director and senior solicitor, Robert Last has dealt with lottery conflicts before and says: “The potential for litigation is vast with this arrangement ‘between friends’, and more than that it stands out for me because of the advice which I give on an almost daily basis: ‘put it in writing’. (Although perhaps more often I lament ‘if only this had been put in writing’).
It is said ‘strong fences make good neighbours’ – whether it is family, best friends or work colleagues, anything involving money or items of any significant value should be covered by the appropriate paperwork.”
The mother-to-be, who claims she had missed only one payment of £2 and has been excluded from sharing the £28 million, is now seeking legal action, which Robert Last says, is hardly surprising.
“I have previously devised an agreement having exactly in mind the possibility of the sort of dispute that has arisen here. The rules need to make clear the circumstances in which members of a syndicate are ‘in’ and the circumstances in which they are not. For example, all of the regular subscribers in such a lottery syndicate are deemed to be ‘in’ even if they are on holiday or off sick or merely forgot, as long as they have always paid their dues retrospectively. Any subscriber would then have to sign to indicate acceptance of the very simple rules, so in this case the disgruntled member, if she actually has subscribed for the past two years, would have been entitled to share in the £28 million.
Robert Last continued, “No doubt all of them, before they won, would have considered that everyone would do the honourable thing. But money brings out the worst in people and as the saying goes: ‘If all men were angels you would not need lawyers’.”
To request your free download of a sample lottery syndicate agreement, please click here.