Millions of Americans dream of winning the lottery. An Indianapolis hairstylist says she did - and now she's being hauled into court by seven of her friends.
Here's what happened. Eight stylists from Lou's Creative Styles salon in Indianapolis pitched into a pool for the Hoosier Lottery. The woman selected to purchase for the group says she also bought a number of tickets for herself. She won the $9.5 million jackpot with what she is claiming was her own ticket, separate from the pool. The odds of winning the Hoosier Lotto Jackpot are 1 in roughly 12.2 million.
Now, the other seven stylists are trying to get their share of the jackpot. They have filed for a restraining order to freeze the jackpot, pending proof that the woman did in fact purchase her ticket independently. This will be the responsibility of a judge for Marion County, Indiana.
Attorney Scott Montross, who is representing the seven women, told WTHR-TV that they are trying "to slow down the train until we can figure things out." He later told the Indianapolis Star that "We are concerned that the winning ticket may have been purchased with the group's money… There's a dispute about it, but until there is something more definitive, we were trying to keep a low profile." Montross has not yet responded to an ABC News request for comment.
Jason Kurland, an attorney who has represented $254.2 million and $336.4 million winners, said that issues like this should be avoidable "without question… It's so easy," he said. "It takes five minutes." He suggests making copies of all tickets, emailing them to all participants, and making absolutely clear who is eligible for the jackpot.
"When you buy a ticket you dream about winning but you never actually think that you will," he said. "You really have to treat it like, in this case, a $9.5 million transaction."
In the meantime, $9.5 million remain in the hands of the Hoosier Lotto. Spokesman Al Larsen said, "We'll just stand by and look forward to paying that prize at some moment… That's all you can do."