General Question

kheredia's avatar

If you won the lottery, would you tell everybody or just keep it to yourself?

Asked by kheredia (5558points) August 5th, 2010

Not that I won the lottery but I always wonder how I would handle it. I think I would only tell my immediate family and then I would move away and enjoy all my money with the people who I know are not just there for the money. How would you handle it? Would you be completely open about it? Would you just not tell anybody? Why or why not?

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41 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

As I have said many times, I would create a 501c tax deductable contributory foundation and hire all my relatives to read applications and decide who should receive grants.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I would tell my family first especially my mom and then maybe tell my friends I doubt it though, I wouldn’t tell too many people about it because then I am sure they would come running and saying “can you lend me some money” which they never return back. I wouldn’t spend all the money in luxury and all that only. I would decide to support my grandparents at their farm in Zambia:D Then I would also save up for all my school fees and try to also book a good spa, luxurious, fancy, good food hotel and trip for my mother and me and my stepfather.

In short terms I would use my money for something useful and helpful in the future:D

Parrappa's avatar

I would tell my family but that’s probably it. After that things start getting out of hand so I would keep it close with me.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Depends on what I choose at that time(the value of popularity or the value of money) and how much I got from my lottery. Usually,I’ll prefer to keep it for myself,buy anything I want with my money. If I tell my friends I will feel proud but they probably will ask me to buy them some stuff or throw a party from my money with this lottery as excuse,it’s not unusual that you’ll severe the relationship if you refuse their request,they will know you as a ‘stingy’ person.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I would probably tell my lawyer first. Then I would claim the prize. Once I claim the prize the whole world would know.

mYcHeMiCaLrOmAnCe's avatar

I’d tell only four people. mom, best friend, other best friend, and…. ok, I forgot who the fourth person was.
anyway, I’d buy presents for them, and a big house for me (in California, hehehehe :p)
and a plane ticket, because I’d have to go there, to see the house.
and, I’d finally have the money, to go to as many concerts as I want.
oh and, buy lots of clothes :)

zophu's avatar

How could I tell anyone while out in the desert building my spaceship?

But seriously, no. Assuming we’re talking millions, no one would know. My proclivity would take make a sudden shift if I were to become rich all of a sudden. Too much responsibility to be carrying a past around. I’d separate myself completely. But I’d send some money to a few people after I left.

stardust's avatar

I’d tell some members of my family and a few close friends. I’d want to share the excitement with my loved ones. I can’t imagine it staying under wraps as people would spill the beans eventually. Human nature and all that.
Personally, I’d be sharing the wealth with those I love and I’d want some sound advice about the best way to channel it into causes I feel strongly about.
I certainly woudn’t be letting it sit around in an account when there’s so much good that could be brought about by it.

I’d also go on a long overdue shopping spree. That’s fun to think about :)

Blackberry's avatar

I wouldn’t tell anyone, but I would surprise my family and girlfriend and a few friends with presents.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I wouldn’t tell anyone but my closest friends who I knew would keep it quiet and respect the fact that it would be my choice what to do with the money, and no one else’s. I certainly wouldn’t be telling one side of my family.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

I don’t want a lot of money. I would keep enough so that if i have a child he/she could go to college. and the rest i would anonymously donate to the ASPCA

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’d tell my bf and I’d tell my best friend, no family. My partner because he would also become a business partner and my best would be told because he’d become another business partner. I’m not sure I’d tell my family until a business plan was in place and then I’d hit them up to become employees of a sort. Kind of like what @YARNLADY mentions but nowhere near as benevolent.

WestRiverrat's avatar

If you won the lottery, once you turn in the ticket, it is no longer a secret. Every lottery I have ever entered, it states that if you claim a prize, your image and name may be used by the lottery sponsors.

zophu's avatar

@WestRiverrat Awww, you ruined one of my “Plan B’s” for world domination. I’ll have to fake my kidnapping and collect my own ransom, then. Only choice. Man, I hope I don’t win the lottery.

shego's avatar

I wouldn’t tell anybody except for my dad my bestfriend, and my boyfriend. I wouldn’t want other people to pretend to be my friends just because I have money.
But I know I would donate large sums of money to local charities that help the homeless, the animals, and the childrens hospital.

cookieman's avatar

Setting aside being outed in the media, I would tell only my wife, lawyer and accountant.

DominicX's avatar

I’d keep it as private as possible. I don’t want people mooching off of me for the rest of my life or murdering me for it. People will do some crazy shit to get money.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I think you can actually not go public…not sure.

I wouldn’t go public. I would probably tell two of my best friends…who would never say a word and then just disappear. I would secretly then send money to my family, my friends and to charities….especially for abused animals, abused women and children. I would send huge donations to women’s causes especially in countries where they are still being treated like it’s 1234 A.D. instead of 2010.

mrrich724's avatar

I would tell my wife. That’s it. Too many haters out there.

wundayatta's avatar

If possible, I would keep it private. I’m told that when people find out you won the lottery, they crawl out of the woodwork to get your money. A lot of people who win think their money is practically endless, and so they give it away and invest it unwisely, and in some cases, they run out very quickly and end up worse than they were before they won.

Of course, people like me never win. We don’t play.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’d tell my husband and best friend. I’d put the money into a nameless trust.

Jabe73's avatar

Outside of my immediate family? No way! Going by the experiences of someone who won a lump sum of money around 10 years ago who lived close to me who all of a sudden had distant relatives who started visiting her frequently (all of a sudden) and a whole host of new “friends” that were inviting her to parties/events (all of a sudden) that never talked to her before and other horror stories I’ve read about the less people that know the better.

Dewey420's avatar

lol awesome question. I would only share with the person i live with.. and anyone who had the balls to ask for any money. possibly others that pop into mind along the way.

perspicacious's avatar

You don’t make that decision. The winner names are public record.

zzc's avatar

I too, think the names are announced. Before claiming it, though, I’d like to have a nonprofit set up, with the bulk of the money. I’d try to consult Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett about how the money could wisely be invested and used for the most philanthropic benefit. I would, however, pay off my house, pay my bills, and set up a retirement for myself. I’d like to pay the mortgages off for my friends, anonymously. It would be fun to watch.


Just keep it to myself and my immediate family. There are too many nuts, gold-diggers, and fairweather friends out there for me to count.

Frenchfry's avatar

I would pack up and leave the state. Not tell a soul. Immediate family. Hubby and kid.

JLeslie's avatar

Keep it to myself. Well, my husband would obviously know, pretty sure legally I can’t keep it from him LOL. I actually always say to people, “if you win the lottery, don’t tell anybody.”

jm5225's avatar

I’d tell my family and very close friends but I think i would lie and tell them I only one a percentage of what I actually one. That way when they see what I give them not only would they think I was more then generous but when they foolishly blow through it and want more I’ll say there is nothing left to give lol Not because I am selfish but I have seen what money does to people…even my own mother…and frankly I’d make sure my mom and best friend were okay to the point that they could relax a little and not live paycheck to paycheck…but it be up to them to manage things wisely.

JLeslie's avatar

@jm5225 I am pretty sure it is public record who won and how much. Maybe someone else can confirm that. So, if any of your greedy relatives have a suspicion you are being untruthful about the amount, they can look it up.

augustlan's avatar

I know I’ve seen news reports of anonymous winners before, so there must be some way to keep your name out of it. I would tell my husband, then a lawyer/financial adviser, kids, and best friend. In that order. I would likely send some money anonymously to a few people I know who are struggling financially.

JLeslie's avatar

@augustlan I hope that is true, that you can be anonymous. I would help people also, family, maybe a couple of friends, and make charitable donations. Of course it depends on how much I win, how much I give. It’s not that I want to keep it a secret because I don’t want to share any of it. I just don’t want the mishugas of what can happen when people feel someone should be giving more or differently, etc.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I would not tell anyone beyond my immediate family, because I doubt it would change my lifestyle too much. I would pay off bills, buy new cars for a few people, make overdue home repairs, give some away, and invest the rest.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I would only tell very few people. My boyfriend and my dad would definately know about it but other than that I would be very guarded about who I told. I certainly wouldn’t be happy with appearing on TV or in papers/magazines.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it would not be very noticeable if we won the lottery, because I don’t think our spending would change that much, but it would become suspicious when we quit our jobs and still could afford everything still. We could only quit if the winnings were very significant. $1million would not cut it. I think it would have to be at minimum $3million.

CMaz's avatar

Family members only, as they would get a taste.
The rest would be lead to believe I cashed in some investments.

Mind on my money and my money on my mind.
No question a large portion would go into a trust. After all, they are lawsuit, creditor protected and provide a higher then normal interest rate.

Surreality's avatar

I’d do my best to tell no one, but I’d pay off all my bills, those of my friends (student loans etc), and help my cousin finish paying for college. I’m sure eventually it would leak, no matter what I tried to do, but I already have good friends and know who the users in my life are (yes, I know I shouldn’t put up with them, but it’s complicated and not up to me). Beyond that? Maybe open my own jewelry store or set one up online (yes, I make jewelry, strange for a guy, I know), but I wouldn’t quit this job just yet, in spite of hating it. Of course, this is all assuming it was a significant amount, minimum several million. The kind of sudden wealth that attracts all the wrong people.

downtide's avatar

I certainly wouldn’t make it public knowledge. I’d tell a very small circle of close and trusted friends.

mattbrowne's avatar

I would tell a therapist hoping he or she can prevent my life being ruined by winning the lottery. This is what normally happens.

But I never ever play the lottery.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Bellatrix's avatar

At least initially I would only tell my immediate family and I would ask them to keep it to themselves. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t privately share my good fortune by donating to charity or using the money for good but I think winning a large amount of money could negatively impact on other relationships and I wouldn’t want that. I think if it was a really large sum, it would take time to get used to the idea you had the money and to consider the best way to use the money. I would want that time before discussing it with others.

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