Scratch Ticket Etiquette

So, as we near the holidays, here’s a question.  And, let me start by saying this is not necessarily a “who’s generous?” and “who isn’t?” question…… it’s more of a what would be the social norm in the following situation question.  And…it’s about scratch tickets.

Do you share?   The question is not, “If you win big do you do nice and charitable things with your winnings?”…..that is a very different question.  

Here’s a scenario…. I’ll use my own family as an example…and this is completely hypothetical….because we’ve never won enough to justify a fair split.  

Often at the holidays my dad’s girlfriend will hand out scratch tickets to us all.  So, let’s say as you look around the room and it is no winner, no winner, no winner, little winner, no winner, little winner, and suddenly BIG WINNER.

If you’re, in fact, the BIG WINNER…..what is the expectation?  Or, what do you do?

Do you immediately realize that it was obviously complete luck of the draw and it could have easily been anyone else in the room who won and, so, split your winnings evenly with all other adults present?

Do you throw everyone a bone and give them each a lesser portion as a token of unsuckiness?

Do you keep it all yourself?

Let’s mix it up a bit….. What if the people in the room are not your immediate family? What if you are in a small group with decent acquaintances and friends, but not your absolute ride-or-dies

Not too long ago I stood in a local convenient store with a friend as we made a pitstop after a hockey game.  We stood at the counter at the same time each purchasing a bottle of water…..and then both decided to buy a couple of scratch tickets.  We got the exact same ones (an important piece of information in the decision making process I think).  Back in the car she scratched faster than me….and didn’t win.   As I continued to scratch I had already made the decision that if I were to win big, I would split the cash…. I mean it could have EASILY been her instead of me.  The clerk simply could have handed them out in a different order.  I’m guessing, if I know my friend the way I think I do, she would have refused.  I would have explained why it should be an even split, she’d argue, and we’d settle on me splitting it like 60/40 or something like that.  

Now, I realize that there are MANY different scenarios! Many different ways the scratch ticket game could unfold… so, feel free to comment with personal experiences or tell us what you would do in slightly different situations.  

In regards to the situation mentioned in this post, however, please take the following poll.  
So, again: You’re at a small gathering and someone hands out scratch tickets to everyone present. You win big. You know and enjoy the company you’re in, but they’re not your immediate family.

Do you, 

1.  Decide to split evenly with all other adults present

2.  Give each guest some of your winnings, but keep a sizable portion to yourself

3.  Keep it all

2 thoughts on “Scratch Ticket Etiquette

  1. Ideally, iron out these details before giving & scratching the tickets — and since the ‘winner’ must pay taxes on the winnings, that % should come off the top. If no expectations were set, I’d still want to be generous to the rest of the group, while keeping the largest share, as I’d expect any other ‘winner’ to do. A relative of ours thought she was doing something fun as a nice gesture to an out-of-state friend, so she sent her a few scratch tickets … next thing she knew, the friend sent her a $100 in cash to buy more tickets for her! Now our relative has a dilemma, because if any of those tickets are winners, she’ll have to deal with the tax issue.

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