When you win the Jackpot, Everybody’s a Relative

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When you win the Jackpot, Everybody’s a Relative
  • Author:
    William Monroe
  • Published:

How winning the lottery can suddenly affect your popularity

In most households, you know who your immediate family members are, most likely being your parents, siblings, offspring, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a few cousins. There may be other legitimate relatives out there, but you’ve never met them, and some you never even heard of. When you win the lottery, you will have more relatives than the most prolific reproducing family out there.

Privacy and Boundaries

Yes, even though you may go to great lengths to protect your privacy and prevent people from knowing you’ve won, it is not difficult for those who want money to find out you now have some. And this is when your “relatives” will call you or visit you to congratulate you on your win. This might seem all so innocent but it is not. Most, if not all, will also be interested in borrowing money from you to pay bills, get out of debt, or have you invest in one of their great money-making ventures.

For instance, you remember Uncle Bert right? Your mother’s cousin’s daughter’s husband? Uncle Bert heard about your lottery win and is more than excited to visit you unannounced and give his congratulation on winning ten million dollars. Remember when he would bounce you on his knee when you were little? No? Well that’s because it probably didn’t happen. You actually never heard about Uncle Bert from anyone in your life. And he never met you as you and him live across the country from each other. Uncle Bert wants to borrow fifty thousand dollars to get out of debt. You tell him you’ll think about it just to get away. Calling your mother, she confirms he really is your Uncle, but he’s from the “bad” part of the family. You are told not to give him any money.

A couple of weeks later you get a call from a cousin Belinda from the old country. Yeah she is so happy for you and is talking your ear off about all kinds of things you did together as children. Of course, you don’t remember any of this. “Remember the bet we made as kids?” she asks. “We promised each other that if either of us got rich, we’d give half to the other.” She gives you am account number and says to just send the five million dollars to it.

Again, asking relatives about cousin Belinda, they know nothing about her, and no one in family lives in the “old country.” Your mother smacks you across the head and tells you not to give any money to that woman.

Next, you will calls and visits from real relatives, anunts and uncles and cousins you actually know. Each is going to tell you how happy they are you won. “You are so lucky. You can take care of your bills and buy a big new house. Wish I would have won the lottery. With my (substitute any medical condition here) I could get the help I need to get rid of the (pain, ache, disability) that makes life so hard for me. Evan a small win of ten or twenty thousand dollars would help. Oh well. Good for you.”

Yep. They are so glad that you won but are so sad they didn’t, and even a small win would be so good for them. Well, under that enthusiasm for you, is a planted idea that maybe you should give them (oh not lend of course as they would never be able to pay you back) ten or twenty thousand dollars out of your ten million. It’s a very small amount and you won’t even miss it. You certainly can afford it now, right?

An Obligation to Share?

Exercise caution and go very slowly when approached by anybody who seems to have an interest in your money. Your winnings are your money and only you get to decide who gets any. Just because your sister is having financial problems doesn’t mean you have to give her a cent of your winnings. And that goes for any other relative and for that matter any friend or stranger as well. You certainly are not going to give any money to a stranger or a relative you never heard of. As for friends and family, there is no obligation to give them anything either.

Deciding who you may give money to should be dependent on your relationship with them through your life and who they are and what they mean to you. Use that as a gauge in making decisions. You now have many new “realtives” and “friends” to deal with. Decide who is a true friend or a true relative you really care about and really want to bestow some good foutune on. One who’s been with you through thick and thin, good times and bad times. Not some unknown relative or a school classmate that ignored you oh those many years ago, but tries to be your best friend now.

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