Ethical Question Of The Day

Ken AshfordRandom MusingsLeave a Comment

SCENARIO:  Some time ago, you and 20 co-workers chipped in to buy 10 lottery tickets.  The same numbers run for all lottery drawings over the course of one year.  Typically, the lottery pool might win a small amount, but all winnings under $60 are reinvested into the pool to buy more numbers.

After a long spell of nobody winning, the lottery's jackpot has risen to unusually high levels – say $200 million.  You notice this one day while getting Skittles at the Quik-E-Mart, and you decide on the spur-of-the-moment to buy a single lottery ticket for yourself that upcoming drawing.

Your lottery ticket wins.  You are the sole winner.  $200 million is yours.

QUESTION #1:  How much, if any, of the $200 million jackpot do you share with your co-workers in the office lottery pool (above and beyond what you might give them as individuals if there was no office pool at all)?

QUESTION #2: Assuming you give the office pool members some part of your winnings, what if the above facts were the same, except the year-long office lottery pool expired one week before the lottery jackpot that you won?  Would you still give them a cut?  Would it be less, and if so, how much?

QUESTION #3:  Assuming you still give them something from your winnings under Question #2 above, how long after the expiration of the office lottery pool (days? weeks? months?) would you feel alright in not giving the office pool anything "above-and-beyond" from your winnings?