Social Question

tranquilsea's avatar

If you were in an office lottery pool and someone neglected to give you money that week for the lottery and you ended winning would you share it with them anyway?

Asked by tranquilsea (17238 points ) February 16th, 2011

If they regularly played but they were away on holidays, sick or simply forgot to give you money. Would you feel obligated to share the proceeds with them? And I’m talking if you won the big prize of millions of dollars.

Why or why not?

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33 Answers

glenjamin's avatar

Ahh, an ethical dilemma. Of course technically if they didn’t pay, then they shouldn’t get the winnings. But I would probably go with my feelings about the person, if I didn’t like them much I would go all technical on their a$$. If I thought they were a good person, and if I’ve known them for some time, it might sway my decision. Also, I would get the consensus from the others in the pool, as this decision would affect their winnings.

perspicacious's avatar

No. When I was working that was well known.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I would. The difference is so small, the friendship far outweighs the payment. When they return from wherever they should thank the person who put in their share of the ticket price. Dinner?

YARNLADY's avatar

In the office pool, it is actually the job of the “pool manager” to make sure no one forgets. If anyone opts out of the pool, they are specifically asked if they intend to be excluded. In an honest case of “I forgot” they should share.

Jeruba's avatar

Only those who are in are in.

I might give them a token amount, but not an equal share.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think if the person didn’t contribute just once for an honest reason, I don’t think it’s fair to leave them out of the big winnings. If I was sick on the day that people usually gave money to the pool manager and I came in the next day with cash in hand ready to pay only to discover that they had won and I was SOL, I think I would demand a refund for every dollar I had put in to the pool. In a case like @perspicacious describes, that is a different matter all together. If it is known from the beginning that you will be SOL if you miss a contribution, then if someone misses, they miss. However, if it is not made known, then it is unfair to exclude someone if an unforeseen situation pops up.

chyna's avatar

I would share. Why not? It was money you didn’t have before,so it isn’t actually money you would be “losing”.

iamthemob's avatar

This scenario is one where there was an honest mistake or unintentional omission, so it’s unfortunate. I am not sure that I would, because how can I thereafter deny claims to people who intermittently or rarely participated, but later say they meant to that week? Or those who never did, and said that they wanted to that first week, but couldn’t find me?

My inclination was at first yes, but then those scenarios popped into my head.

Preferably, of course, there would be mechanisms to control for this – some pool rules. Controls could be made so that it was absolutely clear that contribution was necessary, or that there would be a grace period to contribute while results were kept secret until everyone had a chance to contribute or affirmatively state they were not going to, etc.

WestRiverrat's avatar

No, our office pool makes it very clear up front. If you miss a week, and we win, you don’t get paid.

ucme's avatar

Absolutely, of course. No brainer really.

Jeruba's avatar

Let’s say I contribute half the time. And this week, the week that you won, I really, really, really was going to contribute. And so were my husband, my sister, my two sons, my next-door neighbor, and the dog.

chyna's avatar

@Jeruba But the question says that “they regularly played but was on holiday or sick”. In that case, I would share.

Jeruba's avatar

I’d call that “regularly.” It’s a steady, predictable pattern. I go to the dentist regularly, three times a year. It’s regular, even if not every week.

iamthemob's avatar

I’m with @Jeruba on that one. Also, realize that the person who didn’t pay into the pool is more than likely going to have a fairly skewed view of what they consider “regularly” to be.

I can only suppose that if it were myself that hadn’t paid, I’d feel like I had put into the pool probably more than I, objectively, did in fact.

Supacase's avatar

If they are typically a dedicated player who contributes to the pool each time, I would overlook illness, vacation or any other legitimate reason for missing work. Unexpected things come up that can’t be helped and who thinks ahead about that when heading out of town?

If their participation is spotty, then I would not include them because there is no reason to believe that he meant to play but forgot. I doubt he would mention forgetting and put in his money if you didn’t win.

VS's avatar

Well, if I forget to go to the convenience store where I always play 2,5,8,13,25 & 40 and those numbers win next Saturday night, do you think the store clerk is gonna say, oh hells yeah, we’ll make sure the lottery peeps know you play that every week, you just forgot to come in/was sick/out-of-town/whatever. I think NOT! If you don’t get the money in the pot, you are up the proverbial creek without said paddle. If [some of] the winners wanted to give some token amount to the non-winner, that would be their perogative, but certainly not necessary.

tranquilsea's avatar

@VS That was a scenario that I thought of too.

Although if it was a regular player who rarely, if ever, missed I would probably advocate that they be included in the winnings. But I wouldn’t support someone who only played now and then.

chyna's avatar

@Supacase said it exactly as I was thinking it, but didn’t get it out the same way. GA.

mrrich724's avatar

Heck no. If they didn’t play that week, their money didn’t contribute to purchasing the winning ticket.

If they cared that much, even if sick, they could call and say, “hey, you know I always play, can you spot me a few bucks for the ticket, and I’ll pay you back when I’m in.”

If they don’t make the simple effort, it’s safe to assume they weren’t that interested.

If you didn’t win that week, would they come back and give you all money to help cut the losses? I doubt it

YARNLADY's avatar

There’s a case in the courts right now about a woman who says she bought the usual pool tickets, then just for good measure bought a personal ticket – and it won.

chyna's avatar

^^Money does mean things to people.

jca's avatar

@YARNLADY: that’s interesting About twice a year I will take a collection in the office and buy lottery tickets. I will also buy my own personal tickets. What I will do is take the office tickets and xerox them, and pass out the copies to the participants. That way, mine is mine and theirs is theirs, and there’s no mistaking which is which. I wonder with the lawsuit you mentioned, if the purchaser did that, or if she’s actually lying.

chyna's avatar

@jca That is the way we handled it at our office.

jca's avatar

@chyna: I’ll bet, even though we do it that way, that if I won or if the purchaser in your office won, there would be people crying foul.

chyna's avatar

I’m absolutely certain. There were 2 or 3 that would not participate for anything. But I bet if we had won, they would be wanting it.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@chyna: I think that if someone made an active effort not to play, whether it was someone who ordinarily didn’t play or someone who said, “This week, I’m done.” They definitely should not get a part of the cash. I think also if someone doesn’t retroactively pay up if they miss a day, then they shouldn’t be considered a permanent member of the pool.

filmfann's avatar

It would depend. Have they neglected to pay in the past? Did they pay afterwards? If they did, there is no reason to think they wouldn’t now. This case speaks to this issue. The article is 2 years old, and I don’t know what has happened since.

Jeruba's avatar

So many things come down to definitions. I don’t think it’s an ethical matter at all; it hinges on the definition of “in.” Once you change the definition, relaxing the qualifications for inclusion, you’ll have a huge mess on your hands whenever there’s a win.

AmWiser's avatar

This scenario would not have to be discussed if the pool had clear defined written rules on how they were going to do business.

faye's avatar

We paid for the year every Sept. That kept you in. I would share, though, what’s 2 bucks?

Mat74UK's avatar

Follow these rules and you can’t go wrong.

chyna's avatar

And since we are talking about winning the lottery, I won four dollars in last nights powerball. I’m not sharing.

jca's avatar

@chyna: I forgot to give you the money. I demand my share of that $4.

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