As an extended family we recently bought a syndicate ticket in the Lotto. We won enough money each week to buy again the following week until the money petered out.
We walked away in the same socio-economic class in which we started.
I've always said that if ever I won the Lotto, I wouldn't tell anyone. Not because I'd selfishly want to squander the money without sharing, but because I feel the perception of others would change.
It's easy to say that suddenly becoming incredibly rich won't change us personally. That we'll still be the same person inside. That we'd give a bunch of it to charity and keep the rest for our future with little impact on our current status. But surely financial freedom for even the most humble and grounded person, would bring with it a whole new method of operation that could well change the way we are treated?
Even if we decide we're not going to splash the money around on McMansions, sports cars and first class around the world trips, there are everyday challenges that would disappear.
Not having to apply for a car loan, no more negotiating interest rates on the home loan, no waiting for
weeks months for elective surgery, no searching through the trays of porterhouse steak to find the one that's on sale, no decisions about whether to replace the carpet this year or get the house painted instead, no waiting in the cattle class queue at the airport as business class breeze by in the priority line.
There would be changes, no matter how subtle, that people in the community would see and their expectations of us would change.
Their expectations of us would change ...
It's for that reason I'd want to keep my Lotto win a secret. Because I wouldn't want to be treated any differently by my friends and family.
Having people watch what gifts I buy, how much I contribute to the restaurant bill, how much money I give the homeless guy on the corner, whether or not I pay for my cousin's, boyfriend's, sister's surgery.
It's one thing to say it wouldn't change us. But it could well change the people around us.
If you won the Lotto would you tell people?
What changes would you make to your life if you had a windfall?
Do you think the expectations of others would change?
Is it actually possible to keep a financial windfall a secret?
PS This post is not code for "we won the lotto" - although it's not for the lack of trying.
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