It is not uncommon to hear about litigation claiming entitlement to share in lottery jackpots arising out of former friends or co- employees.
Invariably the claim is that for quite a long period of time, often years, a group of friends or co-workers contributed money to a lottery scheme with an intention to share the winnings, and the one time that the jackpot is won, some number of people, for whatever reason, did not contribute to the actual winning ticket.
A claim from Alberta , Clancy v. Gough ABQB 439 involved a group of friends in the Elks lounge who had purchased lottery tickets together for many years. They didn’t buy every time. They waited until they were surprised reached $10 million. One group bought tickets fairly consistently.
It was a very loose arrangement involving 2 groups, one of whom collected money to buy tickets in an envelope, marking down the names to bought tickets.
The plaintiffs were not members of the Elks club.
A Mr. Johnson contributed funds to purchase the winning ticket. He had agreed to pay Mr. in Mrs. Clancy a part of his winnings from the super 7 jackpot, but the others did not.
The plaintiffs sued alleging that there was an agreement among the regular participants to ensure that each of them was always in the draw.
They asked the court to find that those who participated in the super 7 draw held a portion of the jackpot in trust for the plaintiffs.
The claim was dismissed.
The court held that there was no legal obligation to make sure everyone participated in the draw, nor did their conduct indicate that they intended to be legally bound. For example they did not make sure that each of them contributed each time the group participated.
The claim was also dismissed under the law of trusts.
A valid trust requires three items to be certain:
1) the subject matter must be certain,
2) the object or beneficiaries of the trust must be certain,
3) and the certainty of the intention to create the trust must be present.
The court found that there was no certainty of intention to create a trust as there was never an agreement to create a trust.
Disinherited .com is of the view that the case was an unfortunate result of the loosey-goosey arrangement among friends that could not be properly substantiated court of law. The decision is correctly decided.