A mate and I often buy the odd Lotto ticket together. We are very strict: We give each other the money before the ticket is bought (there are no IOUs), the ticket is always bought 50-50, noone can join the party late.
We can spend a good hour or so telling each other what we’ll do with our share of the money.
We get rid of our mortgages first. Then we look around to those less fortunate than our newly cashed-up selves. We pay off mortgages off for siblings, we renovate homes for our parents. We shout partners on excellent holidays, throw a tens of thousands at the charities we support, and shout our friends to a very splurge-y lunch.
Because the point is that at that moment we don’t have the money. So we can afford to be generous. Often to a fault.
But what if we did win? Would we be so noble then?
Sixteen people – once colleagues, perhaps friends – are at war today. And it’s all over money – no small amount of money either. At dispute is a colossal 16.6 MILLION DOLLARS!!
The Age has published the very tricky story of a syndicate of transport workers and a Powerball win. Fourteen members of the syndicate say their's was one of three winning tickets in last year's October 16 draw, and that they should have a share of the massive windfall.
But Gary Baron, 49, who The Age reports has been collecting $20 a week from the group to enter the draw, says the ticket was his - not the syndicate's. Another member of the syndicate is now in a relationship with Mr Baron and is not part of action before the Supreme Court.
His former workmates became suspicious after Mr Baron called in sick the day after the draw, then resigned and bought a BMW convertible and an expensive house at Lara, one of Geelong's more affluent suburbs. He also received a bottle of champagne from Tatts Group.
And there you have it - the murkiest of monetary ponds, and a path so well-trod it's hard to believe anyone is game enough to have a little punt just for laughs.
Enormous amounts of money can be at stake.
In 2011, payment of a $50m win to a 19-member syndicate was delayed in Ontario after additional people came forward saying they had been part of the winning group.
Two years earlier, a workplace syndicate in the US won $207m. Four members who weren't at work to put their money said they were entitled to a cut. Co-workers regularly covered for each other, they said, and $20m should go to each of them. It was a view the courts disagreed with.
But blood can run bad on much smaller amounts.
There were the elderly sisters who played the pokies once a week, putting equal amounts in the pot ... until one dropped a spare 20 cent piece into the machine when the other went to the toilet and won more than $30,000. Most of that ended up in the hands of lawyers, and they never spoke again.