(93)  Enforcing National Lottery syndicate agreements

On 13 December 2000 Hamilton Sheriff Court upheld the claim of four East Kilbride women to a share in the proceeds of a winning National Lottery ticket (worth nearly £400,000) purchased by a work colleague.  The basis of the claim was that the five women had formed a syndicate using the same numbers each week.  The defender, who had originally denied to her colleagues that she had purchased a ticket in the week in question, stated that she had dissolved the syndicate four days before the purchase of the ticket because the other members were in arrears with their contributions.  She had continued to use the syndicate numbers only because she feared that someone else would win with them.  Following the win, the defender gave up her job and moved to Morecambe in Lancashire, where she and her husband bought a house.  It would appear that the syndicate agreement is not a sponsio ludicra because “as a general rule, contracts which can be viewed as collateral, or incidental, to a betting or wagering contract are not to be regarded as sponsiones ludicrae” (Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia, vol 15, para 768), and “in a joint adventure a person may sue the other gambler for an appropriate share of the winnings” (McBryde, Contract, para 25.22).