With Any Luck, You Won't Win the Lottery

Americo Lopes exits the courtroom on Wednesday in Elizabeth, N.J. A jury found that Lopes had cheated five co-workers out of their share of a $38.5 million lottery jackpot. Photograph by Frances Micklow/The Star-Ledger/AP Photo

Former construction worker Americo Lopes thought he got away with keeping the $17.4 million winnings (after taxes) from a lottery pool he joined with co-workers in 2009. But yesterday, a New Jersey jury ordered him to share the Mega Millions jackpot with the five other members of the pool, leaving him with much less money—and likely no friends.

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