“What would you do if you won a million dollars?”
This is a question that you’ve probably heard during icebreaker games or maybe you’ve just asked yourself every time you imagine winning the lottery. For these people, they didn’t have to imagine it – they lived it. Whether they won a large sum of money or inherited it, the money certainly changed their lives. Whether or not it changed it for the better is another question.
15 Stories of People Who Suddenly Received Large Sums of Money
Someone posted on the Reddit forum “Ask Reddit” for stories from people who had either won or inherited large sums of money. Plenty of people replied with their stories. While some have nice parts to them, many of the stories reveal the unfortunate reality of human nature. We’ve heard celebrities or rich people say time and time again how hard it is to figure out who your real friends are. These people now have a much deeper understanding of what that feels like.
1. The Non-Gambling Problem
“I won a decent amount of money on betting on soccer games a few years ago. Because I didn’t pay off my father’s credit card debt with it, he fought with me and pretty much tried to ruin my life. He told my then partner that I had a gambling problem and then got my mother to call my work to tell them I had a problem. It all reached a head when I came home to my partner in tears, and my mother and father sat comforting her on the sofa while she proceeded to tell me if she didn’t know if she could trust me, and “why couldn’t I just admit how long I’d been gambling for.” I physically removed my father from my house that night and told him never to darken my doorstep again. All over five grand!” source
2. A Lifestyle Fund
“A few years ago we inherited some money from my husband’s grandfather. My husband’s brother & sister also inherited equal amounts. His sister, whom we had not spoken to in several years, emailed my husband and his brother asking for their portion of the inheritance because her part-time personal trainer job wasn’t enough to keep funding her lifestyle. LOL.” source
3. Pay For My Kids, Please
“We inherited money from my husband’s great aunt, each grandchild in the family got equal amounts. His sister asked us to give her $10,000 from our portion because she had kids and we didn’t. It stung because she knew we were struggling with infertility.” source
4. Different Reactions To Winning The Lottery
“I worked at a major lottery company for 7 years and seen many ‘winners’ presented with millions in person. You can tell which ones will keep their newfound wealth and which will spend it all in just a few years.
One guy fly by helicopter to collect his lottery money. He started spending before he even had it. This guy will likely spend it all in 5 years. That’s the average amount of time it takes for most to spend it all. Five short years. Sad but true.
The lottery corporations provide guidance counseling to help those who have no experience with managing money or wealth. But there is no obligation to use their services.
The relationship people have with money and the health of other areas in their lives will be the deciding factor in what happens next.
One guy won over 30 million by spending his last 20 dollars on what ending up being the winning lottery ticket. He cried when he told us the story in front of the cameras and press. In happiness and in shame.” source
5. The Black Sheep
“My Great-Aunt and godmother was a lesbian. Her partner – my Auntie Kitty – had been with her since the 1950’s, when my godmother moved to New York. Auntie Kitty was disowned by her family when it came out she was with a woman. My godmother died when I was 12 and left my Auntie Kitty everything in her will, which made things strained with my dad’s family, though my dad and one of his brothers still talked to her.
I moved to New York at 18 for school and, knowing no one else in the city, we became close. She was thrilled that I wanted to have a relationship with her and spend time with her and didn’t hesitate to think of her as my aunt, even though she technically wasn’t. She was legit the greatest, and we spent holidays together and she would come to things I worked on and I knew all her friends and she knew mine. I basically spent a decade with her being like another grandmother to me.
She died a few months ago, and it sucks. I miss her a lot, to put it lightly, but she was in her 90’s and lived a long life.
Thing was, she left everything to me. Now, I knew she had money – It was hard to miss – but I didn’t know how much money she had. I ended up with a decent sized amount of cash and investments, a brownstone in the city, and a place in on the beach in the Carolinas.
Her family came out of the woodwork when she died, sniffing around for money and demanding I give them the beach house, or cash, or whatever. Her will states explicitly that they’re not to receive anything from her estate, and it’s all to go to me, but they’re threatening to sue since ‘they’re sure she wanted to give them something’ even though she hadn’t talked to any of them in over half a century, and in some cases, had never met them.
On the opposite side of things, my dad’s sisters and brothers are pissed they didn’t get anything, because they’d occasionally send her a Christmas card. None of them view it as fair that I was given everything, when they were given nothing. None of them showed up to her funeral, none of them had properly seen her or talked to her in years except my dad. One of my aunts has gone so far as harassing my boyfriend since he’s apparently only in it for the money, despite the fact that he had a better relationship with her than she did, and had to help me plan her funeral.” source
6. An Odd Repayment Request
“I won $5,000 in a radio contest. Not a huge amount, but at the time, I was a single mom of 2 and had just started college. Not even half an hour after the announcement an ex texted me “Congrats! Now maybe you can pay me back for all the dates I took you on?” source
7. Forward-Thinking or Impulsive?
“I worked with a guy who won $729,000 dollars. It wasn’t a lottery but a radio Bingo game. The prize got to almost $3 million and it was split four ways.
Gary put the $700,000 into one account and the $29,000 into another account. He kept living on what he was earning and learned all he could about investing. He retired a year or two later.
This happened in Canada, where lottery winnings are not taxed.
One of the other winners in a nearby town started by buying her friends snowmobiles, 10 worth about $10,000 each. Real hot rods. She also dumped her bf in favor of his brother. Not sure if the dumped bf got a Ski-Doo or not.
Another guy who worked with me at the same place won $30,000 on a scratch-off ticket, and he used it to lease a truck.
There was an early case in Canada in the ’70s where a guy won $500,000, a lot then, and blew it all in eleven weeks. During that time, he had a lot of drunk friends.
One of those friends told the winner, “If you buy me a house, you will always have a place to stay”. So he did, and when he was broke a couple of months later and went to stay, he was told there was no room. Why not just buy yourself a house? Guy wasn’t thinking ahead.” source
8. Suing Your Own Son
“When my grandmother announced that she wanted to leave her house to me, my mother became a different person. She said that if granny did this that she would sue me (her son!). She insisted that she was granny’s direct heiress. Honestly speaking, I would have never have thought about suing my family.” source
9. Never Lend Your Money To Anyone
“I was finishing up my first year in middle school and my mother was blessed with a million dollars from one of those lotteries that play the numbers one day each week. The person who worked with winners gave us good advice that I’m glad my mother listened to: never lend money to anyone because they won’t pay you back. It was a very interesting time. When your name gets out on the news that you won the lottery, your Facebook friend requests will skyrocket, and suddenly family members, high school classmates, and friends you never even knew or hadn’t talked to in years suddenly come back and “want to keep in touch.” Mom’s relative constantly asked for help from her about financial things, he usually paid her back, but then my mother got fed up after this family member suddenly made a request demanding a brand new couch, and they never talked to each other again.” source
10. Scratch-Off Fiasco
“My parents always put holiday scratch-off tickets on our Christmas tree for each of us 4 kids. They have done this for years and sometimes we win but most times we don’t. We come from a wealthy family and always get great gifts, so it’s all just for fun. One year I won $5,000! I was pregnant and expecting the first baby born to us siblings in 3 months, so I was beyond happy that my husband and I could now afford a nice crib and things for the baby. My oldest brother was livid. (He’s the black sheep.) He demanded that I split the $5,000 with all of them. I said no, this is going toward my baby. He went off saying that we didn’t need the money and that I was being selfish for not sharing. I found out later that my dad ended up giving my oldest brother $1,000 just to shut him up and keep the peace. Absolutely ridiculous. We no longer have scratch-off tickets and my relationship with my brother has never been the same. Truly sad.” source
11. You Got Duped
“About two years ago, I got my inheritance from my grandmother who passed away. It wasn’t much, definitely not $7.2 million. I’d say about $50,000 give or take. What did I do with the money?
- Gave my brother about $8,000 so he could start his own business. After a couple of months, I found out he didn’t start a business and just used the money as downpayment for a second-hand car that got hauled away after he couldn’t make monthly payments.
- Gave $200 to a nephew so that he could get his driver’s license. After a couple of months, found out that he spent the money gambling and until now has no license.
- Gave $200 to my wife’s sister so she could have her bathroom fixed. TwoTwo years later, money’s gone and apparently she’s still addicted to electronic bingo.
- Paid about $1,000 for a dentist/cousin to get my dentures done and for my daughter’s braces. Two years later, my daughter’s braces already came off on their own, my daughter’s teeth are still not aligned and now my gums are swollen because the dentures are not well made.
Yeah, I could go on and on about the many ways I got duped. Two years after spending the inheritance money, I had some money problems, and surprise, surprise, not one of those I helped lent me a hand. Not one. So now as I’m trying to pick up the pieces of my (financially) shattered life, I can honestly say that there is no way in nine hells am I gonna make the same mistake. If I win $7.2 million or $7.00 it wouldn’t change my answer. I’d keep it for myself, my wife and my kids. Not even my kids will know I’ve won anything. Sure, I’ll buy them clothes and things but I’ll be goddamned if any of my family members will see a single cent of my winnings!” source
12. Shove Off
“I inherited some money a few years ago from my granddad, it wasn’t millions but it was a good amount. All his brothers and sisters who I have never met and who he hadn’t seen in decades started harassing me for money. One of them wrote me a 10-page letter demanding half. The only thing I remember about this woman was that before my granddad died, I wrote her a letter pleading for her to come visit him as he only had a few months left, she declined. I responded to her demanding letter with a letter sent first class back to her that only said one thing. “Shove off.” source
13, The Golden Teddy Bear
“My grandmother never was rich. When she died, she left her land and house to my cousins, and I got an old huge teddy bear. Everyone laughed at me. But when I came home and decided to restore the toy, I found a sack with golden coins inside. All of my family’s problems ended at once. Thank you, granny!” source
14. More Suing Family
“My mom and dad won big once at a casino around 25 years back. Around $10,000. Most of the money went into paying bills and a few family fun things over the course of a summer. However during that time my aunt and a few of my mother’s relatives kept bullying her for cash. Her relatives kept demanding she owed them some of the cash because the casino trip was with them, they invited my folks along and drove them. My aunt, on the other hand, just kept begging so she could help out with her kids’ debt. My folks never gave in even though my mother’s relatives threatened to sue them.” source
15. The Waitress
“Back in the early 90s, a waitress I was friendly with because she worked at 2 different restaurants I frequented was 8 months pregnant and not sure who the father was. She was getting ready to lose her apartment and move back in with her mother. She won what was, at the time, the largest ever Powerball prize of $86 million. She immediately bought each member of her family and herself a Mercedes and a new house. I didn’t hear, but I’ll bet there were several guys who suddenly claimed to be the father of her baby.” source
How about you? How do you think you’d spend the money? Would you share it, or keep it to yourself? Would you spend it or invest? Do you have any stories similar to these?
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Attention: While many of these stories are interesting, and we would love to take their word for it, the content in this article was taken from an unverifiable source (i.e., a Reddit forum). As such, we cannot guarantee that these events truly happened in the way that they are described in the original source.