Lottery Pool Members Win Big: Jury Divides Winnings in Absence of Written Agreement


Several members of a New Jersey “lottery pool” won big when a jury recently awarded them $20 million. The co-workers played the lottery as a pool and filed a lawsuit after they belatedly discovered the winning member hid that fact from them and tried to avoid splitting the proceeds with them.

The jury found that the ticket buyer was liable for breach of contract and fraud. The verdict is significant given that the co-workers had never entered into a written contract to split their potential winnings. Instead, the existence of the agreement was proven through oral testimony.

As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, defendant Americo Lopes and his five co-workers were seasonal employees for Berto Construction in Rahway, New Jersey. For several years, the friends bought Mega Millions lottery tickets. When the jackpot reached $50 million. Lopes collected the money and purchased twelve tickets.

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