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Lottery Pool Contract Questions to Ask Before You Start

Questions that your lottery pool agreement should cover

Lottery pools are an effective way to boost your odds of winning the lottery without spending any additional money. They can also raise morale in the workplace, bring neighbors closer together, and give members of an organization something to talk about. But there is also the potential for a lottery pool to cause hard feelings. To avoid this, you need a lottery pool contract.

A lottery pool contract simply outlines the way that the pool will be run, so that everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect.

A lottery pool contract doesn’t have to be extremely formal. The idea is to make sure that everyone knows, understands, and agrees to a set of rules. This can help you avoid lottery pool problems ranging from hurt feelings to lawsuits.

Before you start writing any legal document, you want to gather the information you are going to need. Here are some of the questions that you might want to answer in your contract.

Who Will Be Your Lottery Pool Manager?

It’s always a good idea to have one person who is in charge of the lottery pool. This person doesn’t have to do all of the work; they can delegate, too. But they are the point of contact if anyone has questions or concerns. They also make sure that every participant has a copy of the lottery pool contract, they keep track of the signed copies, and they make decisions like where to store the tickets after they have been purchased or who should be the one to buy the tickets this week.

When Will Your Lottery Pool Buy Tickets?

Some lottery pools buy tickets on a regular schedule like once per week, or once per month. Others buy tickets every time a jackpot hits a certain value. And other pools are valid only for a single drawing, then form anew every time an interesting lottery drawing (like a big jackpot prize) comes up.

Your lottery pool agreement should specify which drawing or drawings will be covered. It should include both the lottery games your pool will play and the specific drawings you will participate in.

Who Will Participate in the Lottery Pool?

Before you start to write your contract, you need to know who the pool members will be. Should your group hit a jackpot, some people are going to regret not participating, and regret make those people litigious.

Coworkers have sued winners because they claimed that they were unfairly excluded from participating in a pool that resulted in a jackpot. So you should be sure to outline who will be invited to play and how people can find out about the lottery pool.

Other questions your lottery pool agreement should cover include whether (and when) new people can join the pool and whether members can participate in some drawings while passing on others.

Can Members Buy More than One “Share” In the Drawing?

Some lottery pools allow members to put in more money to receive more shares in the prize if they win. For example, if a single ticket costs $2, a member can choose to throw $10 into the pot to receive 5 shares of the jackpot they win. The pool would then buy five extra tickets, raising everyone’s odds of winning.

Other lottery pools keep it simple by creating an even split; every member puts in the same amount of money, and every person receives the same amount in the case of a win.

Your lottery pool contract should outline how the jackpot will be split.

How Will the Lottery Numbers Be Chosen?

When you buy lottery tickets, you have two options: let the computer choose your numbers randomly, or pick your own numbers. Which method will your lottery pool choose?

The simplest option is to agree to let the numbers be chosen randomly, but if you do agree to let members choose their own numbers, you need to specify how and by whom the numbers will be chosen.

If you go that route, you might also want to have your lottery pool contract waive responsibility if the person buying the tickets accidentally chooses the wrong numbers. Imagine the bad feelings if the wrong numbers were purchased and the right ones won!

What Happens with Small Prizes Your Lottery Pool Wins?

Everyone joins a lottery pool in the hopes of winning a jackpot, but you are much more likely to win a smaller prize. Your lottery pool contract should clearly state what happens to low dollar-value prizes.

You can try to divvy up the prize among all the participants, no matter how small. Or you can put the money toward buying tickets for another drawing. Or you can choose to give small amounts to charity, or to an office coffee fund, or save them up for a group luncheon.

If you do choose to put the smaller prizes toward the next lottery drawing, it makes sense to say that only people who chip in to participate in the next drawing get the benefit.

For example: Say that this week, your pool of 20 people wins $5. That $5 is put toward the next week’s drawing. In the next week’s drawing, only 15 people participate, each putting in a two dollars to buy a ticket. With this suggestion, only the 15 participating people have the chance to win in the new drawing. Although 20 tickets are actually purchased, the 15 will split any jackpot 15 ways.

Your lottery pool agreement should state not only what to do with small prizes, but what the cut-off is for a small prize. Is it $5? $20? $100? $1,000?

Can Lottery Pool Members Buy Tickets Privately?

Imagine that you’re in a lottery pool and you find out that the pool manager has hit a jackpot, but isn’t sharing the funds. Why? Because the manager says that they bought the winning lottery ticket privately, not with the lottery pool’s funds.

This scenario has happened in the past, resulting in bitterness. To avoid it, make sure your lottery pool contract states whether participants, especially the person in charge of buying tickets for the group, can purchase lottery tickets outside of the pool as well.

If your contract does allow members to buy lottery tickets privately, be sure to make copies of the group’s tickets and distribute them, to be very clear which tickets belong to the pool. It’s a good idea to do this in any case.

Will Your Group Take a Lump Sum or Annuity?

If your lottery pool does win a big jackpot, you’ll have to decide whether to take a lump sum immediately or take an annuity and spread the winnings out over a number of years.

It’s a good idea to make the decision ahead of time and spell it out in your lottery pool contract to avoid conflict over the answer if you actually win.

Will Your Lottery Pool Remain Anonymous If You Win?

Some states allow their lottery winners to remain anonymous in case of a win. This helps the winners to avoid some of the negative fallout of winning the lottery, such as losing jealous friends, having reporters knocking at your door for an interview, or being deluged with requests for handouts.

With a group prize, keeping your identity anonymous becomes difficult if some members aren’t on board. To help avoid problems down the road, have everyone agree at the outset whether they’ll stay anonymous or announce their win, assuming you’re in a state which allows you to make the decision.

Finishing Up Your Lottery Pool Contract

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all of the issues that need to be covered in a lottery pool contract, but rather a way to start a conversation about your goals with your group. For legal advice, you should always consult a professional lawyer with familiarity with this kind of contract.

Once you have a legal document drafted, it’s important to have everyone read it, make sure everyone understands it (don’t let anyone just skim through it!), and then have each member sign it. You can add weight to the contract by having an uninvolved third party witness the signatures (even more if the third party is a notary!) Your lottery pool manager should keep all of the copies.

There may be local and state laws that influence your lottery pool agreement. Your state, your company, or your region may prohibit lottery pools. Be sure to speak with your company’s legal or HR department if you aren’t sure if you are allowed to start a pool.

A lottery pool contract is a set of rules that participants agree to before buying tickets. See questions your pool should answer in their contract.

Syndicates

There’s strength in numbers

More players, more chances, more special moments

Playing National Lottery games with a syndicate is a great way to share the thrill of playing the nation’s favourite games. There’s something very special about celebrating a win with friends, family or work colleagues.

Ready to play? Choose a game for your syndicate:

Setting up a syndicate is easy peasy

  • Build your dream team
  • Agree how the syndicate will work
  • Start playing
  • Share the winnings

Build your dream team

Playing as a group can be a lot more fun than playing alone and celebrating a win with others can be so much more rewarding – especially when it’s a big jackpot! But first things first – get some friends, family or work colleagues together and get the ball rolling.

Top tips for building your team

  • Recruit your dream team – syndicates can be made up of friends, family or even work colleagues. In fact, two thirds of current syndicates are work based*, with syndicate managers starting them up to inject some fun and social interaction into the workplace.
  • Agree how it will work – there are no set ways of how to play within a syndicate but agreeing guidelines upfront will provide peace of mind for your team.
  • Stay connected – social media is a great way to keep in touch with your team in between draws. You can send your syndicate team payment reminders, confirmation of draw entries and of course those exciting win alerts!

*Syndicates research 2017.

Agree how the syndicate will work

Before you play, get organised

Setting up a syndicate agreement from the very start will provide ease and peace of mind for both the syndicate manager and the other members. As all payments are taken from, and all prizes are paid only to, the syndicate manager, it is important that everyone knows and are in agreement with how regularly payments are paid and how the prizes will be distributed to the syndicate members.

Here are a few things to consider before starting your syndicate:

  • Agree who the manager is
  • Which games, draws, how many lines will be played?
  • How and when will payments be made?
  • What happens if someone misses a payment?
  • How and when will prizes be shared – or will they be reinvested?
  • Will the group want publicity in the event of a big win?
  • How will the group communicate a large win – and to who?

You may want to use our sample syndicate agreement as a starting point.

Registering with Camelot

If you’re planning on playing online, the syndicate manager will need to register online and list themselves as the syndicate manager. If the syndicate manager already has a National Lottery account, they will need to use this personal account to play the syndicate’s lines. They just need to remember to update their status within the settings by clicking the syndicate manager box.

Your syndicate agreement

Get everyone to sign a syndicate agreement and make sure everyone has a copy. If you win, it will make life a whole lot easier.

TOP TIP Take a photo of your completed syndicate agreement and share it with the members only via social media or messaging app.

Start playing and having fun!

Ready to play? Choose your games

Your syndicate can play any National Lottery draw-based game – in other words:

The syndicate will not be limited to one game, giving you even more chances to win.

Ways to play

In-store – for those syndicate managers that prefer to have their pink tickets physically in their hands, playing a syndicate in-store is a great option. Syndicates can be played in any retail store that sells The National Lottery, the syndicate manager just needs to fill in a playslip(s) for the games and number of weeks the team wants to play. The retailer will then provide the syndicate manager printed copies of the pink tickets for the selected draws.

TOP TIP FOR RETAIL Most syndicate managers that play in stores love FastPay cards, particularly if the syndicate plays the same numbers week in, week out. FastPay cards store your lucky numbers and for multiple lines meaning your syndicate manager won’t need to fill in a playslip (or numerous playslips) every time they go to purchase the tickets.

Online – syndicate managers that prefer to keep things digital can opt to purchase the syndicate’s games online. The manager will need to set up or use their own personal National Lottery account and register themselves as a syndicate manager. Playing online means that your syndicate will never have the worry of losing a ticket, your syndicate manager will be contacted by e-mail if you’ve had any wins. It is then the syndicate manager’s responsibility to distribute any winnings amongst the syndicate members.

TOP TIP FOR ONLINE For syndicates that play the same number of lines and the same lucky numbers week in week out, setting up a direct debit (subscription) can be a great way of ensuring you never miss a draw. Find out more on playing by direct debit.

Tips on payments

To ensure you receive regular payments from all members in your syndicate, why not agree a regular day on which payments are made? If all payments from the syndicate group are not received on time it can be frustrating for the team and cause disruption to the flow of play.

Sharing your winnings!

The fun part – claiming your prize

It’s important to remember that prizes are paid to the syndicate manager and not to the syndicate group members individually. The manager then shares the winnings with the rest of the syndicate or reinvests the wins into future play – it’s all dependent on what is stated in your syndicate agreement. Whether you have bought your tickets in retail or online, click here to find out how to claim your prize.

Syndicate FAQs

1. What is a syndicate?

A syndicate is a group of people that play National Lottery tickets together. When the syndicate win prizes, the money is shared between the group, according to the syndicate agreement. The main benefit of a syndicate of course is that it enables the group to buy more lines and improve their potential to win a prize. Plus, it’s a lot of fun playing in a group.

2. What are the responsibilities of the syndicate manager?

A syndicate manager is responsible for ensuring payments are made, tickets are bought on time and syndicate members are kept informed of results. The manager is also responsible for distributing winnings amongst the members (as all payments will be made to them) and ensuring that all members are in agreement for how the prizes are paid out or if they are reinvested to future play.

3. Is there a maximum number of people allowed in a syndicate?

No. You can have as many people as you like – the more the merrier. Bear in mind though, while a large group increases your chances of winning, the pay-outs become smaller.

4. Do we have to set up a syndicate agreement?

It’s not essential, but it’s a good idea to set up an agreement beforehand. This will ensure the syndicate is run without disruptions and with everyone’s name on the agreement it helps to avoid any misunderstandings in the event of a win! It also helps to keep the syndicate running smoothly and gives all members peace of mind.

5. How can we purchase tickets?

That’s down to the syndicate manager’s preference of what works best for them. They can either buy in a shop or purchase online through a computer or mobile device. If they choose to buy online they will either need to play through their personal National Lottery account or set one up if they do not already have one.

6. I already have an account – can I set up a separate one for my syndicate?

No. All online players are only eligible for one online account so each syndicate manager that chooses to play online, must play the syndicate lines through their own personal account.

7. How can I be sure the tickets have been purchased?

If you play online, the tickets purchased will show in your syndicate manager’s online account. To confirm to the members of the group that they are in the draw, syndicate managers can always share screen shots with the group to confirm that they are in the draw(s). If you play in-store, it’s often useful for the syndicate manager to a take a photo of or photocopy the pink ticket(s) to share with the team – and of course keeping them in a safe place is hugely important.

8. How will syndicate prizes won be divided?

Whether the manager chooses to play online or in-store, all prizes will be paid in full to the syndicate manager of the group. It is then the responsibility of the syndicate manager to distribute the winnings in accordance with the syndicate agreement. It is important to have a syndicate agreement to provide group clarity of how prizes will be paid out and when or whether they will be reinvested for the group play. Full details on claiming prizes can be found here.

9. Do we need to officially state we are a syndicate?

If a syndicate is played online, the syndicate manager will need to register or update their account to state that they are a syndicate manager. For tickets bought in retail store, this is not required. However you play your syndicate, the best way to ensure your winnings are tax-free is to set up a syndicate agreement. It creates a formal document with names of players and should be signed by an independent witness. Having such an agreement in place helps prove to the tax man that payments made to syndicate players aren’t ‘gifts’.

Play the lottery as a syndicate with friends, family or colleagues – download your syndicate pack today.