Joining the office Powerball pool isn't always a smart gamble.
Pooling resources with a few co-workers can be an enticing prospect, especially now that the jackpot has hit a world-record-setting $1.5 billion.
Generally, however, it's better to buy your own tickets, said Jason Kurland, a partner with Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman in East Meadow, New York, who is known as the Lottery Lawyer.
"I strongly dislike Powerball office lottery pools," he said. The Multi-State Lottery Association puts the chance of walking away with the grand prize at one in 292.2 million for a single ticket, and buying a few more doesn't move the needle much.
"If you're going to take those crazy odds, you're better off doing it on your own so you don't have to split it," Kurland said.
With winner pools, the process of claiming and splitting the money can get complicated. For starters, it's harder to do what experts advise in big lottery wins: Stay anonymous while you figure out a plan for the money.
"There's no reason to call attention to it early," said Kurland. Ideally, you'd have time to hire experts, like a lawyer, financial advisor and accountant, to figure out the best way to claim and manage that jackpot before the media crush brings attention and outstretched hands to your doorstep.