MILLION BIG GAME WINNING TICKET
For over 15 years Atlanta Airport cabbies had a lottery pool where each
paid $5 into the pool when the payoff got big enough, usually over 100
chances to win.
Many cabbies were in charge of the pool and there were unwritten
rules. One of their tickets on a $90 Million Dollar payoff was drawn and
the cabbies, who paid $5 toward the winning ticket, claimed sole
ownership of that winning ticket and denied all other claims. My
clients, who paid nothing toward the winning ticket draw, hired me to
obtain their share of the winnings. Leading up to the drawn winning
ticket, my clients paid $5 toward the previous three drawings that had
small winnings. My theory was whereas the pool rules required the person
in charge to purchase more tickets with the small winnings, he didnít
do that, he didnít distribute the small winnings to anyone and he
still had the small winnings tickets. The lawsuits I filed claimed that
since you could not tell where the money came from to purchase the
winning ticket and the pool breached and violated their rules, my
clients were entitled to a share of the winnings.
The pool argued the oral pool rules did not require purchasing
more tickets with the small winnings.
When the pool claimed my clients were not on the list of those
who paid $5 toward the previous drawings, I claimed that the pool lists
excluding my clients, was a forgery and a fraud. The jury returned a
verdict for my clients, upholding the oral pool rules about small
winnings, found the pool breached itís rules to purchase more tickets
with the small winnings, found my clients did indeed pay toward the
previous drawings, found the poolís list of cabbies that excluded my
clients was forged, found the pool committed fraud and awarded my
clients a share of the lottery winnings, with interest exceeds $2
L. Stopeck, LLB, JD
Member: Georgia, Federal, U.S. Supreme Court
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