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If You Won The Lottery, Would You Tell Anyone?

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Considering all the bad luck lottery winners have, would you tell anyone (if you had a choice and it wasn’t published) that you won the lottery? While it’s nice to get in the paper and hold press conferences, think of all the “friends” you’d suddenly have popping up out of nowhere to ask for a hand and all the “enemies” you’d suddenly have blackmailing you or otherwise extorting money from you… I always wondered why they publicly announced those things anyway, like nine times out of ten it’s a death sentence. A slow death in which all of your friends ask you for a hand-out.

Now, assuming you don’t get blackmailed or honey potted into parting with your money, you now have to contend with the idea of working while sitting on a pot of gold. If you work, people realize you don’t have to and they will likely treat you differently. Will you get the raise you deserve considering you don’t really need the money? Will you get that promotion that you deserve if they’re afraid you’ll quit after a bad day because you don’t need the job? If you don’t work, what will you occupy your time with? Lots of lottery winners (and celebrities, rock stars, athletes) turn to drugs because they have nothing else better to do anymore. But let’s ignore all that because winning the super Powerball jackpot isn’t something you can realistically hide… but…

What if you won a smaller prize… like $500,000? Would you tell anyone? Substitute an amount that you think is significant but not so big that you could quit your job and not so large that it could seriously change your way of life. I think that $500,000 would solve many a financial woe but it’s not enough for one to quit their job… so in the event you won a $500,000 jackpot, would you tell anyone? If so, why? If not, why?

(And no, I didn’t secretly win the lottery or anything like that, though that would be nice!)

{ 68 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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68 Responses to “If You Won The Lottery, Would You Tell Anyone?”

  1. Sophie says:

    I would not tell anyone except my accountant, lawyer and anyone else who would professionaly handle my investments. If you read the curse of the lottery winners, it is scary. People were murdered for the money they won. There was a story of this poor man who helped 9 of his siblings after winning the lottery. Bought his parents a condo, siblings houses and purchased a 500,000 house for himself, wife and kids. His brother and sister in law kidknapped him and murdered him for money. Each story you read is just mindblowing. What people do for money. So NO you should not tell anyone. If anyone ask say you made some great investments in the stock market its no ones business. They say money doesn’t buy you happiness but it buys you opportunities, freedom to travel, education, medical expenses, a home. Use it wisely. Be generous to others in need. Be humble in how you spend it. Make it last. Most lottery winners could live off the interest and not touch the principal and LIVE very comfortably. That is what I would do…So if you find yourself lucky to win the lottery do a lot of reasearch before diclosing any information to anyone.

  2. Donna B. says:

    Little wins,I’d brag, medium wins – under a million, I’d just go about my business, no one would know. Great big win – I’d say I got another job – with some small company, in sales, to account for my higher standard of living, and frequent absences. Set up a trust to own the funds, myself as trustee. I’d actually set up an office somewhere, with a small staff, etc. I’d make my charitable contributions the way I want, with no pressure from outsiders. And yes, I’d probably spoil my adult kids, spread some around a few relatives and friends.

  3. J. Kelly says:

    I don’t know about other states within the USA, but in Washington state, major winners have won in the past, and have had their names withheld. The local media states for security reasons the winner has asked that their information be kept private. The State lottery commission has honored many request from winners to have their personal information remain “private”, quite possible because it could be dangerous to release the information. As a winner in Washington state, if I won, I would tell whom I had to tell and keep it private from all others. It could be dangerous to do otherwise. I am not sure about Powerball or games that involve more than one state, I don’t recall any winners of Powerball having their information withheld, which seems quite foolish considering that the winners can quite possible become “bigger” targets with the bigger jackpots.

  4. A. Nonymous says:

    How do you avoid having you rname and city publishe dif oyu win a lottery? They say it is required by teh Freedomof Information Act but if I were in that position I would be scare dof every crazy comingout of the woodwork – especiall as I have an unusual last name and livein a small community. So what do you do – move before you claim the prize; have someone else claim it for you?

  5. J. Kelly says:

    I suppose, if you won you would won’t to know if you can keep your information private, and if so, how to go about it.

    I know as a fact that winners of the state lottery, here in Washington, have kept their information out of the media. But haven’t heard of it in Powerball or MegaMillions.

    But personal information of all types is often withheld from the public, doesn’t mean the public can’t have access to it, or “Pay” to obtain access to it, it only means that the information isn’t released to the media.

    It would be informative if a former winner, who kept their information out of the media, would explain the process they took to secure their information.

  6. Nick says:

    ACTUALLY — you can claim lottery winnings anonymously, many people already have done so, here’s one for example:
    http://www.lotterypost.com/news/133686

  7. suzie says:

    I would not tell my husband and file for divorce.

  8. Mona says:

    If I won the lottery I would over a 100 million I would take the annuity, under a 100 million cash out. No one would know that I won. I would take about six months to put the proper team together. I would form a corp claim my winnings under that corp. Take a long vacation, come back invest some of the money in stocks, start a business( no family or friends as business partners). Set aside additional money for my childrens education. Purchase a decent home, keep the car that I have.

  9. LB says:

    I would only tell the neighborhood cats.

  10. Perfect Plan says:

    After verifying I actually had the winning numbers, here is what I would do:
    1) Sign the back of the lottery ticket
    2) Make photo copies of the front and back of the ticket
    3) Change my name and social security number
    4) Sign a lease and rent an apartment under my new “legal” name in a decent sized town 60 miles away from the town I reside in
    5) Start growing a mustache and beard
    6) When it is fully grown, I would dye my hair and facial hair
    7) Drive to the lottery headquarters and claim my prize
    8) Shave and dye my hair back to its original color
    9) Pay off my lease so I am no longer liable
    10) Change my name back
    11) ENJOY LIFE!

  11. Perfect Plan says:

    Also in step 7: I would definitely wear a hat, huge sunglasses, and have a handkerchief over my mouth.

  12. raven says:

    Just the thought of all the work necessary to protect the money and personal identity makes me anxious.

    I wouldn’t tell anyone for several months. I would keep working. I would do anything to keep my head from controlling my life. Staying “right-sized” could be a huge challenge. So I guess I would spend the money on the therapy I am going to need.

  13. Rhonda Newman says:

    No, I don’t think I’d tell. My daughter who doesn’t speak to me would all of a sudden talk I’m sure. My brother in law who put my sister’s life’s savings in the hole would be more than glad to do the same to me. Others who dislike me in the family I am sure would sue to get a piece. I’d just as well keep it quiet.

  14. Rhonda Newman says:

    No, wouldn’t tell. Too many mismanaged financial wizards in my family who can torch money quickly plus anger management drop outs who would sue.

  15. chuck smith says:

    Well I play the Mega Millions as well as Classic Lotto (Ohio). Would I tell anyone that I won? Hell to the No! Not at all! Not even one person. That one person will turn to a person for every dollar I’ve won. People just don’t know how to keep their f&%cking mouth closed. Another reason why I wouldn’t tell anyone is because I did seven hard years in Two Ohio State prisons. During that time I didn’t hear from anyone! It felt like I was dead for real. The crazy part about that is before I got locked up they used to come to me for money and favors. Never did I say no. Never did I turn anyone down. But those seven years was the worst time in my entire life. I went to bed starving everday among other things. So just like they forgot about me I damn sure will forget about them. I know that sounds bad but it is what it is. No, I will take me secretly won money, my wife, and my daughter and disappear to the land of milk and honey. I’LL HOLLA!!!!!!!!

    • CJK says:

      i dont blam chuck one bit, even if you werent in prison that is how it is… people are a trip.

  16. CJK says:

    I would not tell a soul, too many people with their hands out expecting something just because they know you. I’d rather do good deeds to everyone I know on my own time. I dont need the publicity and dont want everyone contacting me just because I came into money that would be a nightmare!

  17. fox says:

    Knowing my identity would be kept secret I would be a miserable asshole to the media and let them portray me like that. Then my first chance would head to the back country of Alaska 100′s of mile away from every one.
    Also My best friend died from Muscular Dystrophy so 75% of my winnings would be donated to a foundation I would start in his name.

  18. Anonymous says:

    If you won the lottery there are lots of people to help, many humanitarian assistance you can provide which will occupy your mind and cause you to become selfless and not squander your money. Only the good you do lasts and will change you from squander and help you to spend your money wisely. Many cities in Africa need water wells and they are inexpensive to provide and we can help. Who would you help????

  19. Jesyka says:

    Even winning the big amount i would wear a disguise there are like 5 different people in my area that have the same first and last name as me in fact one of the girls was having a baby the same time as me and they got our charts mixed up when i went for a check up with the doctor they kept telling me i was due three months after my due date- i quickly switched doctors after that- but anyways i dont have friends already they stopped being my friends when i started having kids.. cause i was no longer fun so the friend thing i really dont have to worry about i have two brothers which are both drug addicts so i definitely wouldn’t give them any money, i would build my own dream home and sell the house my parents just gave me and my husband and then buy my daddy (who was just diagnosed with lumpus and heart and lung cancer)his single level house he has always wanted but never got cause he was so caring in raising us kids that only one out of three really respect the man for all he has done for us which my brothers also have one kid each and dont take care of them so i know its not the having kids that makes me respectful to him, but i would also get my mother-in-law a bigger house I’m sure when she started out in the home she has she didnt think she would have 13 grand kids so it gets kinda crowded in her house on holidays, and i would also let my husband buy his dream car than maybe i wont have to hear him talk about it anymore -giggles- and make sure my all three kids have a really good sum of money for college.
    so all in all
    -dream home
    -daddy’s dream home
    -mother-in-laws bigger home
    -husbands dream car
    -kids college money
    cause without family i would have nothing

  20. Madamoiselle V says:

    I often dream of winning the lottery and what I would do if I did win.My family and friends are so used to me doing disappearing acts,taking my rent and bill money and ending up as a gypsy in exotic questions they wouldn’t even question my disappearing act.Little do they know I have already sign the back of my ticket,deposited it,made a withdraw and laying up on some exotic beach in Nice France…or maybe Seychelles…so I wouldn’t tell nobody….so they all can creep out of the closet and leach…like in WE WON!!!!Uh no.

  21. Chris says:

    either way id still live in my dumpster :) haha

  22. Chaz says:

    I wouldn’t tell a soul, not even the Mrs (she’s actually my girlfriend). I’d open a trust and take a “salary” from that. I would tell everyone I made some good investments, enough to help some of my family members out, and leave it alone. I’d buy a house, new car for me and the Mrs and travel, travel, travel… I want to see the world.

  23. MikeJ says:

    Why tell anyone and risk the possibilty of getting robbed or murdered?Don’t get me wrong though,If I was suddenly blessed with that much money I would be break dancing for hours like the next person.I would simply deposit my cash and come into work the next day like nothing happened.But If I decided to quit my job I would pursue all of my career goals.I know people would ask “Your a millionare now whats the point of working?” and I would ask why not have the best of both worlds of having job that you love WITH the finaciall freedom?

  24. plsmithjr says:

    I wouldnt tell a single soul!

  25. Kelleigh says:

    Although I would want to tell my immediate family, best friend, and boyfriend, I’d keep it a secret if I am allowed to claim a huge prize anonymously. I can just imagine my closest family and friend feeling entitled to a large portion of the money. I would be generous with loved ones, but I don’t want them to have grand expectations or the lottery to change our relationship. As for spending, I would tithe, donate to charity, pay for my final year of college, assist family, improve my community, travel, purchase a home, new car, and waredrobe. When I graduate from the University of Michigan, I would still pursue an elementary teaching career in a struggling school district with time for myself during the summer. I’d use my salary to help provide stellar educational experiences. I would also establish a scholarship fund for my former students and U of M students in need.


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