Mary Neubauer is the spokesperson for the Iowa Lottery. “That’s the fourth largest jackpot in the history of the Powerball game,” Neubauer said. “The jackpot is also number six on the list of the largest lottery prizes we’ve ever seen in North America.”
It’s been nearly a year since the Powerball jackpot rose to this level. Three tickets — purchased in North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Texas — split a $564 million prize in the drawing on February 11, 2015.
When lottery jackpots climb near record territory, more people tend to join office pools or buy multiple tickets with friends and family. Neubauer suggests the best way to keep office pools hassle free is to put the rules of your pool in writing and make sure everyone has a copy.
“One of the most important things to do is keep very careful track of who did put money into the pool and who didn’t put money into the pool, so there won’t be any questions about that later,” Neubauer said. The person who buys the tickets should also provide everyone in the pool with photo copies of the group’s tickets before the drawing.
Neubauer says there have been court battles in Iowa and elsewhere over lottery office pools. “The arguments in those cases were that the people in the office pool were alleging that the person who bought the ticket took one of the tickets that should have been the office pool ticket and substituted in a different ticket because they were trying to keep the money for themselves,” Neubauer said.
The largest Powerball jackpot won in Iowa was a $241 million prize claimed in June 2012 by the “Shipping 20,” a group of co-workers from the Quaker Oats plant in Cedar Rapids.