Last week I reported on the legal action around the 2nd £1,000,000 Mecca Millionaire prize, which is currently in dispute because of an argument over shares on the prize. The BBC has news of the resolution of a similar dispute, this time over a £100,000 National Bingo prize. The outcome of this case may well effect the outcome of the larger prize dispute, which will be good news to its winner.
The decision was initially made at the Exeter courts, and then moved to the Court of Appeal in London. The appeal judge upheld the decision made in Exeter, which allowed the winner of the prize to keep her money and not share it with her fellow players, who claimed she had agreed to split the prize with them.According to the judge, the “casual conversation” they’d had around the splitting of prizes was not binding.
I mentioned in the last post that for these bigger prizes, it might be worth setting down on paper between friends what the agreement is. It’s not as strange a thing do as you might think. If you’ve ever been in a lottery syndicate then it’s no different to the agreement you sign for that (you have signed one, haven’t you?!)
Now, I’m not suggesting you do it for every prize – if you play Bingo regularly in a group, it will ensure everyone knows where they stand, and if one of you is lucky enough to win a big prize, then there can be no argument on the prize split amongst the group.
Maybe there is a form the clubs could have on had to hand out to customers who play shares to sign, setting what levels the prizes will be split up to or something similar. It will benefit everyone in the long run if it stops these disputes rearing their ugly head. I believe the National Lottery publishes something similar for syndicate players to sign, or at least advises they do it.