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  1. #1
    fishifanb is offline Junior Member
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    Angry Employer bought raffle ticket

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    My employer bought a table at a charity dinner and gave a ticket to attend to my wife and I. The event included a raffle with a cash grand prize of $10,000. Amazingly, our ticket number was drawn.

    It was my understanding before-hand that any prizes we won were ours to keep.

    Now that there is so much cash on the line, though, some of the partners in the firm are insisting that, since the firm bought the ticket, that the winnings belong to the partners and not to us.

    This doesn't seem right. Wasn't the ticket to the event a gift to me? Shouldn't any winnings also be mine?

    I really don't mind spreading it around a little bit but now find that I may be expected to settle for as little as $500.

    Is anyone aware of a precedent for this?
  2. #2
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    Most likely it is your employer's money.
    Did you pay to enter the raffle or was it part of the admission ticket?
    What do you base your understanding upon?
  3. #3
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishifanb View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    My employer bought a table at a charity dinner and gave a ticket to attend to my wife and I. The event included a raffle with a cash grand prize of $10,000. Amazingly, our ticket number was drawn.

    It was my understanding before-hand that any prizes we won were ours to keep.

    Now that there is so much cash on the line, though, some of the partners in the firm are insisting that, since the firm bought the ticket, that the winnings belong to the partners and not to us.

    This doesn't seem right. Wasn't the ticket to the event a gift to me? Shouldn't any winnings also be mine?

    I really don't mind spreading it around a little bit but now find that I may be expected to settle for as little as $500.

    Is anyone aware of a precedent for this?
    This can cause a huge tax problem for you, if you allow this money to be given to you. Make sure that before you accept the money that you have a clear understanding of how it may be reported.

    My two cents, is this: It's your money if you get the 1099 ~ no legal advice here, just opinion.
  4. #4
    fishifanb is offline Junior Member
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    My employer did pay the $100/couple cost of attending the event. Entry into the raffle was included in that cost.

    We did purchase a sheet of tickets for the dutch auction and bid on some silent auction items though we made no contribution toward attending the event itself.

    My understanding was based on the fact that, prior to the event, one of the partners actually told several of us that we would not be expected to share any winnings. That would have remained the case, I'm sure, if the size of the prize were not so large.
  5. #5
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    Honestly, I think it would be your money. But I have no legal backup for that.
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    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  6. #6
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    It seems that the employer gave the ticket as a gift. Without specifically reserving the rights to any winnings, the $10K should belong to the employee.

    but.....

    If the payment is made to the purchaser of the ticket, employee would probably have to sue to get the money, in which case a court would decide.

    Also note that there would be nothing illegal about the employer firing the employee for not handing over the winnings.
  7. #7
    Country Living is offline Senior Member
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    Is this worth losing your job?
  8. #8
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Country Living View Post
    Is this worth losing your job?
    Depends on how easy it would be to find another job...
  9. #9
    Country Living is offline Senior Member
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    OK....<sigh>.... send me the money.... I'll take the heat. Oh the things I do for my fellow man.
  10. #10
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CourtClerk View Post
    Depends on how easy it would be to find another job...
    And how long that 10K would last you, and how much you'd have to spend for the attorney.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  11. #11
    Country Living is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattytx View Post
    And how long that 10K would last you, and how much you'd have to spend for the attorney.
    That's what I was thinking (aside from what I could do with $10k).

    You've got state and federal taxes coming off it - say 50% just for conversation purposes (California is pretty proud of their income tax rates). Then attorney fees of at least $5,000 plus the costs and aggrevation to find a new job.

    Does your boss represent the entire partnership in this matter?
  12. #12
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    This was a business event (your employer undoubtedly had a reason to purchase a table at this event, if only for community PR) and your employer purchased the tickets. I can't think of any reason why your employer can't insist that the prize money belongs to them.

    It would be awfully nice if they congratulated you on your good luck and let you keep the money but they don't have to do that.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  13. #13
    LeeHarveyBlotto is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beth3 View Post
    I can't think of any reason why your employer can't insist that the prize money belongs to them.
    I can, and the description includes the word "slimebag".

    From a legal perspective, I'd agree.
  14. #14
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Country Living View Post
    (California is pretty proud of their income tax rates).
    Says who???
    I just paid my income taxes
    And I'm only 10 mads because they limit me to 10

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