Gambling

Is Ohio Man Entitled to Part of Co-Workers' $99 Million Lottery Win?

| by Michael Allen

KraftMaid employee Edward Hairston chipped in to the lottery office pool for eight years, but didn't pay his monthly dues when 22 members won $99 millionon the August 5 Mega Millions draw. Now he is suing for his share of the cash, which would be about $1.2 million.

Hairston was told by co-workers that he wasn't eligible for any of the winnings because he had not contributed to the lottery pool during the three months he was off sick with a back injury.

Hairston's lawyer claimed he was cheated out of the winnings because he had no way of making the payments to the lotto pool. Last week, Judge Eileen T. Gallagher ordered the Lottery Commission to hold $1.8 million of the jackpot, in case Hairston was successful with his lawsuit.

Hairston reportedly contacted his work colleagues the day after the win, but was told he was not going to get any of the prize. Hairston's lawyer said the group's unwritten policy for years was to cover colleagues who were unable to make the payment because of illness, holidays or other reasons.

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(The winners, sans Hairston)

On one occasion, the group made payments on behalf of a missing member for five months while she was on medical leave, according to Hairston's lawyers. Hairston also covered for an absent co-worker with money out of his own pocket.

Lawyers for the other 22 winners insisted that the decision to deny Hairston winnings was nothing personal.

What do you think?  Should Hairston's coworkers have shared the money with him?