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Greedy! Greedy! Greedy! More than likely, that’s what a number of McDonald’s workers in Maryland are saying about their now former co-worker, Mirlande Wilson (pictured), who says she doesn’t owe them a single cent of her Mega Millions winnings — with a lot of expletives I’m sure.

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Wilson was one of three winners of the record $656-million prize, only she was supposed to split her share of an after-tax lump sum of $105 million, or $5.59 million a year for 26 years, with 15 of her fellow McDonald’s workers who took part in the pool. Even if split with that many people, the money still sounds like a nice chunk of change to sit on, right? Don’t bother speculating on what that number is, because Mirlande plans on keeping all of the monies to herself.

The single Mother of seven says that, technically, she’s not obligated to hand any winnings over because she dipped out of the pool with the ticket that matters. Speaking outside of her church with her fiancé in tow (just think about that for a second), Wilson told the New York Post, “We had a group plan, but I went and played by myself. [The winning ticket] wasn’t on the group plan.”

Translation: Have a good life ducking that hot fry grease ’cause I am not sharing a single cent with you.

How hamburgular of her.

One of the 15 members of their now useless pool shift manager Suleiman Osman Husein said in response, “She can’t do this to us. We each paid $5. She took everybody’s money!”

I can’t say that I’m surprised about the lack of morality found in a story centered on gambling, but for those wondering, Mirlande is just one of many lotto winners who have screwed over the folks they were supposed to share their winning pot with.

In 2008, four people in Piqua, Ohio, sued their co-workers, after they won a $207 Mega Millions jackpot and accused them of not keeping their word to share the winnings with the regular participants of their pool. In 2011, an Ohio man sued 22 of his co-workers, after they won a Mega Millions jackpot for $99 million while he was on medical leave. And only a month ago did a jury in New Jersey’s state Superior Court reach a unanimous verdict ordering Americo Lopes to share winnings from his $38.5 million Mega Millions jackpot that he won in 2009 with five construction workers.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Mirlande’s jilted co-workers will sue the Haitian immigrant and fertility role model, but either way, there’s a lesson to be learned.

Maybe you lottery pool people ought to have some kind of system. Say, one person is assigned to buy the group’s tickets and they make a copy of each one purchased so everyone is up to speed. You could also try having some kind of written agreement between all those involved. Then again, as Mirlande may soon learn, a verbal understanding is legally binding enough.

And if all else fails, maybe folks can stick to scratch offs if they don’t trust their shifty co-workers.


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Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer currently based in Los Angeles. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick

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