How to handle Powerball office pools

By Jake Reiner - Reporter

HOUSTON - If you strike gold and win the Powerball jackpot, there's a lot to remember. To help out, KPRC 2 spoke with Steve Drake, a financial adviser who has assisted 10 groups of lottery winners over the years.

"If you win, don't tell anybody. Try to win it as a group. Don't split it up afterwards. Get professional advice, figure out a safe place to go and park it somewhere," Drake said.

The radio host said if you believe in the more the merrier, make sure you plan on that before you buy the tickets. It'll make it be easier for you and handling the IRS.

"If an individual wins the lottery and they get over $500 million after taxes (and) if you give that away to friends and family there's a gift tax," Drake said.

Drake added that one of the hardest things for winners to learn is how to turn loved ones away.

"Sometimes it's hard to tell friends and family 'no' and that's when you delegate it to your adviser," Drake said.

Drake also talked about the issue of taking a lump sum or increments if you win.

He said if you are younger, take it in sections because over time you can learn how to manage the money.

If you're older, take it all at once to get as much out of life as possible.

KPRC 2 also checked in with a legal analyst, in case people are thinking of participating in an office pool.

"One of the great lines from Hollywood is an oral contract ain't worth the paper it's written on," KPRC 2 legal analyst Brian Wice said.

In other words, have something in writing with your colleagues. Make sure you know how the money should be divided and who gets a cut.

"If you don't, I guarantee eventually you are going to be fighting like people on marriage boot camp," Wice said.

Second thing in the playbook, even though we say there's no I in team, there needs to be when you're talking about an office pool.

"There's always got to be a leader. There's only one quarterback. There's only one point guard. There's only one shortstop," Wice said.

Finally, Wice suggests having the team captain be the one person who hangs on to the ticket.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2