Consumer Watch: Navigating Powerball office pools

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by WHAS11

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 28 at 6:21 PM

(WHAS11) -- Someone could be waking up Thursday a multi-millionaire. The Powerball jackpot has topped half a billion dollars! While people rush to get their own tickets, many are hoping to increase their odds by joining with co-workers.

As the jackpot goes up, more money comes in. They have been filling the lottery envelopes at a Green Bay Wisconsin office for days. "I got 19 people throughout the building to participate," said Kelly Schlicht.

Trucking companies, and yes, even local newsrooms are also playing along. Though the chances of your office pool winning are one in 175 million, here are some tips in case you do hit the jackpot.

"If you get lucky enough to win, the biggest thing I think you need to do is when they start collecting the funds initially is to have a sheet with a photocopy all of the tickets that are bought through the office pool, as well as a list of everybody that's participating...both first names and last names in case you have people with similar first names within the same office area," Schlicht said.

Cole Buergi with Leonard and Finco in Green Bay handles his company's pool. He says when big bucks are involved, even the best co-worker relationships can sour. "It becomes hard feelings as well as some lawsuits happen," Buergi said. So having plans in place for if you win or lose can help calm disputes.

"There needs to be an understanding of what you're going to do with those dollars. We apply it to the next drawing's tickets and make sure every body's name is still on it," Buergi said.

Co-workers across the country have been bantering about what they will use their winnings for. Some dream practically. “Probably put it away for my daughter's education...further down the road. One more thing you wouldn't have to worry about later in life," said Nancy Mertens, a regular Powerball player. Others say they would be on a permanent vacation. "I'll be retiring, more than likely,” said Schlicht.

All who have bought into office pools say while they will have to split the cash, it would be great to share the joy of winning with friends.
 

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