It’s quite common for co-workers to “pool” their cash when playing the lottery, in hopes of increasing their chances of winning the bulk of cash. It’s also quite common for disputes to arise if a winning ticket is amongst the “pool” of tickets purchased.
Hence the story of Merlande Wilson, the holder of ONE the THREE winning tickets sold in the $656 Million dollar jackpot…
Mirlande Wilson, 37, is (was) a McDonald’s employee who participated in a lottery pool with fellow colleagues at the fast-food joint but she has absolutely NO intention of sharing the winnings.
“We had a group plan, but I went and played by myself. [The ‘winning’ ticket] wasn’t on the group plan.”
To her co-workers dismay, McDonald’s “winner’’ Wilson insists that she bought her one ticket separately outside of the pool and it just so happens that the ticket she bought alone is one of the three tickets nationwide that will split a record $656 million payout.
“I was in the group, but this was separate. The winning ticket was a separate ticket.”
Wilson, a single mother of seven, claims she has the ticket hidden for safekeeping but would present it to lottery officials later today. She also changed her tune a bit as her fast-food co-workers questioned her about the winning ticket.
“I don’t know if I won. Some of the numbers were familiar. I recognized some of [them],’’ she said. “I don’t know why’’ people are saying differently. “I’m going to go to the lottery office [today]. I bought some tickets separately.”
The two other tickets were sold in Illinois and Kansas, and Wilson reportedly holds the single Maryland ticket, which could net her an after-tax lump sum of $105 million, or $5.59 million a year for 26 years if she chooses an annuity.
Wilson’s co-workers only make about $7.50 an hour and are not happy about the notion that she could possibly be running off with their winnings.
“She can’ t do this to us!” said Suleiman Osman Husein, a shift manager and one of 15 members in the pool. “We each paid $5. She took everybody’s money!”
A man identifying himself as the boyfriend of a McDonald’s manager named Layla, who was part of the pool, said Wilson bought tickets for the group at the 7-Eleven in Milford Mill, where the winning ticket was sold.
The group’s tickets — along with a list of those who contributed to the pool — were left in an office safe at the burger joint, said the man, who gave only his first name, Allen, as he stood next to Layla. She declined to comment.
Then, late Friday, before the night’s drawing, the owner of the McDonald’s, Birul Desai, gave Wilson $5 to buy more tickets for the pool on her way home from work, and she went back to the 7-Eleven and bought them, Allen said.
Wilson took those tickets home with her, Allen said. READ MORE
Do you believe Wilson’s story about purchasing a 2nd ticket?
What would YOU do if this was your co-worker?