In a Ponzi scheme, the last man loses. In a Tontine, on the other hand, the last man wins, like musical chairs. Here is a link to Charles E. Rounds, Jr.’s article on the common law aspects of the Madoff Ponzi scheme: http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/madoff-ponzi-scheme-and-the-sub-prime-mo-11081/. In Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook (2012), specifically Section 8.15.59, Rounds discusses the common law’s evolving attitude towards the Tontine. The section is reproduced in its entirety below.