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If You Won The Lottery, Would You Tell Anyone?

Posted By Jim On 07/03/2007 @ 8:11 am In Personal Finance | 68 Comments

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!)


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