Hairstylists battle over $9.5 million lottery jackpot

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LAWRENCE – A $9.5 million lottery windfall is on the line—and hairstylists at a Lawrence hair salon hope they get the share they feel they’re entitled to.

But they’ll have to rely on the compassion of a co-worker.

The women work at Lou’s Creative Styles in Lawrence, where they’ve pooled their money to buy lottery tickets for a long time. So, when the Feb. 16 drawing proved a winner, they thought everyone had won a share of the jackpot.

Not so fast, said the woman who bought the ticket. According to her co-workers, the woman said she bought a lottery ticket with her own money while purchasing one for the group. She said while they didn’t win, she did.

The other hairstylists hired an attorney and asked a judge to stop the Indiana Lottery Commission from awarding the prize from the jackpot. The judge agreed to the temporary order, but the stylists want it extended as they try to negotiate with their co-worker.

During a hearing Wednesday, the women said they had a longstanding agreement regarding the office lottery pool. That one rule, they said, was crystal clear: the person designated to buy the group ticket for a given drawing could not buy a “personal” lottery ticket at the same location. The rule was intended to prevent situations like this from happening.

They had previously agreed that any ticket purchased with someone’s own money while buying a group ticket would be for the whole group.

The rule never came into play because the group never won a significant amount of money. They used any winnings to buy extra tickets for the next drawing.

While the other stylists said their co-worker may have indeed bought the winning ticket with her own money, they said she knew the rule and broke it.

A ruling on extending the payout ban is expected on Friday.

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