Edward Hairston's timing could not have been worse. After paying into a work lottery syndicate for more than eight years, he thought his luck was finally in when the group won $99m (£62m) – only to learn that his co-workers had cut him out, he alleges, when he was off sick.
Mr Hairston, 39, says he was a member of the office lottery pool at KraftMaid, an Ohio cabinet-making company, for nearly a decade before becoming unable to continue pay when a back injury forced him to take an extended period of sick leave. The syndicate scooped the rollover jackpot in August. Mr Hairston's lawyers now argue that he was "cheated" out of a share of the pot because the syndicate gave him no way of remaining a member while he was off work.
A judge has ordered the Ohio State Lottery to set aside $2m of the jackpot until the case is concluded. The outcome will most likely hinge on whether the syndicate covered the contributions of members who were off work. Hairston contends that they did; his 22 colleagues say otherwise.