People do it all the time -- they get together with their coworkers and buy a bunch of lottery tickets, promising to split the jackpot if they win. It's a great idea, really. But if you don't look out for yourself -- and you DO win -- it might be a less-than-pleasant experience for you.

After all, there's only a verbal agreement among you. What if the guy who has the tickets just goes off and claims the prize by himself? There's nothing to stop you, and no documents proving you're part of any pool. You might be surprised how hard it would be, legally, to get your fair share of the pie.

So, if you're going to do a lottery pool, start by having everyone sign an agreement. I know -- it sounds kinda ugly to bring legal documents into this kind of thing. After all, we're all friends, right?

Well, you'd be surprised how fast millions of dollars can dissolve those bonds.

Forbes Magazine has a great list of rules your pool should agree to follow. They include:

  • Name a leader.
  • Create a contract.
  • Make it public.
  • Make copies of all the tickets for everyone to share.
  • Keep the tickets locked in a safe place.

Sounds pretty solid to me. Good Morning America also shared some good advice:

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