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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With the Powerball at $1.4 billion now, a lot of Hoosiers are throwing money into office pools to gain better odds. However, that route can go south if you’re not prepared.

In 2013, a group of hairdressers filed a lawsuit against a co-worker over $9.5 million dollars.

The women claimed they went in on a lottery pool that resulted in a winning ticket. But their co-worker said the winning ticket was one she’d bought personally at the same location.

Attorney Scott Montross represented the group of women filing suit. They believed their co-worker broke a well-established rule to never buy personal tickets along with pool tickets.

“They felt betrayed. They were disappointed. They were saddened, that someone that they had an arrangement with would depart from the path,” he said.

Montross advises you to follow these tips when you join an office pool:

  • Make sure everyone is on the same page about the rules and expectations.
  • You don’t need to have an agreement in writing, but it is helpful.
  • Have the buyer of the tickets send a picture of the numbers to the entire pool before the drawing so everyone knows the numbers.
  • Choose a person or attorney that you’ll have represent you as a group if you do win. If not, you could end up losing more than just money.

In the hairdressers’ case, there was no written agreement, but there was a precedent on how you were allowed to buy tickets, said Montross. “What strengthened it was everybody said the same thing.” The women wound up settling  the case outside of court.