Lotteries offer the common person a glimmer of hope to become rich and solve all of their financial problems. People realise these days that the more lottery tickets you hold, the better your chances of winning are.
For the UK National Lottery, there are about 14,000,000 different combinations so if you have one line, or one ticket, you one 1 in 14,000,000 chances of winning. Now if you have, say, 1000 tickets you have 1 in 14,000 chances of winning so your odds increase considerably. But purchasing 1000 tickets is beyond most people’s means. Who could afford $1000 a week? So the answer is to join a syndicate and spread the cost and share the benefits of better odds.
If you were in a 100 person syndicate paying $10 a week into the pool and you won $10,000,000 you would each win around $100,000. Not bad for your $10 investment.
When you start a syndicate you should make sure you set things up properly because there will always be disputes and arguments especially concerning people who leave or join.
Here are some suggestions:
* Put everything in writing. Set up a contract detailing the rules of your syndicate and get everyone to sign it. All members should have a copy, give a copy to a solicitor or independent adjudicator and display a copy where you can all see it. Here are some things you should include in your contract.
* Decide on the maximum number of people you allow in to your syndicate.
* If you are going to play the same numbers each time, ensure they are noted in the contract.
* Decide who will be responsible for filling out the tickets and putting the tickets on each week. Include that in the contract and ensure a system is in place to deal with occasions when this person is unavailable. The ticket stubs should be made available by this person(s) as proof that the tickets were put on.
* Decide how and who will collect weekly subscriptions.
* Decide what will happen if someone misses a subscription – will they be excluded from a win, or will their subscription be made up by others? If someone misses a set number of consecutive subscriptions, you might want to exclude them fro the syndicate and allow someone else in. – Whatever you decide, ensure it is in the contract.
* Decide what happens with minor prizes. Do they get carried over and saved for distribution at a later date (for example Christmas) or are they shared out when the amount reaches a certain level. Or do you play additional lines when there’s a roll over for example?
* Check your local tax laws to see whether you need to declare the syndicate for tax purposes.
* Check with your employer to ensure you have permission to run a syndicate on their premises and in their time.
* Decide how people can leave and join your syndicate. If you have a maximum of 20 people allowed, you might have a waiting list of people who want to join.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but any contract is better than no contract at all.
The most common kind of dispute is when someone has missed a payment, and the syndicate have a win that week. If it is the jackpot – there will be arguments over whether that person should be included in the payout. Decide now, document it and get everyone to sign up to the rules. Even if you have been running a syndicate for years, it is not too late to initiate a contract. Get everyone together, discuss and agree the rules, get them down on paper and get everyone to sign up to them.
The same applies to family syndicates. To avoid any rifts and arguments, make sure everyone knows the rules.