Coon: Thanks for your help, guys. Now, get lost!

The SE Texas Record Aug. 19, 2013, 7:25pm

Occasionally, you hear about a group of friends who decided to buy lottery tickets together. Maybe they bought only one to share, maybe they took turns buying tickets on a weekly or monthly basis, or maybe they all bought tickets with the same frequency. In any case, the members of the group agreed to split the winnings equally if any one of them ever hit the jackpot. 

Depending on how it’s organized, this cooperative effort may increase your chances of winning, reduce the expense involved, or both. Plus, it’s fun to have someone to share the excitement – or disappointment – when the numbers are called.

A group of friends could buy losing lottery tickets for years and still be happy with such an arrangement. It’s only when someone finally picks the right numbers that trouble can start.

You can imagine what goes through the lucky person’s mind: “Sure, I agreed to share the winnings with the rest of the group, but I’m the one who picked the right numbers. We’ve been doing this for years and they’ve never picked the right numbers. And what if they had? Would they have shared the winnings with me? I doubt it.”

It would be easy enough to tell your friends that you picked the wrong numbers again, but how would you go about redeeming the ticket without them finding out? You know they’d insist on a share, just like everyone agreed to at the beginning.

Beaumont attorney Brent Coon faces a similar dilemma. He hasn’t won the lottery, but he is anticipating another bonanza from one of his jackpot justice lawsuits and doesn’t want to share it as he promised.

Coon has filed suit in Jefferson County District Court against Harris Bell Williams, insisting that he shouldn’t have to pay the Pascagoula firm for signing up oil spill victims as clients for him.

Now, now, Brent. Be a good boy. Share.

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