Smart Winner Evil Friend? How Much Does Your Friend Get From Your Jackpot?

How Much Does Your Friend Get From Your Jackpot?

Let’s say you jumped out of bed feeling like the luckiest person in the world. There was NO LINE at the coffee shop, you got an extra shot of espresso for free, and you found a shiny quarter heads-up on the pavement.

You could tell that your luck was at an all-time high, so the next thing you did was hit the lottery. To your surprise, you pull an Edwin Castro and snag a pot of $2 billion. Crazy right? But here’s the kicker.  You borrowed $5 from a friend to play the lottery.

Now that you’ve won life-changing wealth, how much are you giving them back? Do you shower them with riches, or do you turn into a Scrooge McDuck, hoarding the treasure for yourself?

Friends and Lottery

The first thing to get out of the way is if they have any legal rights to the money (apart from their initial 5 dollars). Could they take you to court and demand their share of the jackpot, or are you free to keep every last cent for yourself?

Believe it or not, similar things like this happen all the time, and it all comes down to what the court rules.

Take the case of Americo Lopes, who won a $38.5 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2009. He was part of a lottery pool with his co-workers, but when he hit the pot, he wanted to keep the winnings for himself. A court rained on his party and he was ordered to split the jackpot with them. (Imagine a pool of workers winning the lottery, that would be a bad day for their HR)

There was a similar case in 2012 when Denise Coates wanted to keep £10 million to herself even though she was part of a syndicate with her colleagues. The courts, again, ruled in favor of her colleagues, stating that there was an implied agreement to share any winnings.

This is where clear communication and mutual understanding come into play. If there was an understanding or expectation of a share, then the court may be on your friend’s side.

But what if there was no understanding? What if it was just a simple “Lend me 5 bucks please?” There would be hardly any grounds for a legal case, so what do you do?

When Your Friend Wins the Lottery

Smart Winner or Smart Friend: What’s the Right Balance?

The great uncle Ben (Spiderman’s uncle) once said “With great wealth comes great responsibility”, especially when it concerns those who have stood by you, even if it was just a borrowed fiver.

On one hand, you can choose to be a ‘smart winner’. Honestly, there might be more pressing things that you need money for. Heck, there might even be other people in need who are closer to you than the 5-bucks-lender! So you might be able to get away with throwing the 5 dollars back to them, after all, there are a lot of things you can do with 5 dollars (playing the lottery should be one of them).

On the other hand, there’s the argument for recognizing that your friend’s 5 dollars was a part of the journey that led to your newfound riches. They may have lent you a small sum, but their gesture was a sign of trust and support, one that should be returned with a generous gesture too.

Would you be a smart winner or a smart friend? Let’s hear it in the comments…

When You Won the Lottery

Lottery: The Friendship Wrecker

While the lottery can bring dreams to life, it can also bring friendships to death. If slowly built wealth still threatens friendships, how much more instantaneous ones? And it’s even worse when there is contention and unmet expectations.

So will you emerge from your jackpot with your friendships intact and your conscience clear? Or will you become another victim of the corrosive power of greed? In all, it is always good to remember that money can’t buy happiness.

And if this sounds like advice against playing the lottery, it is not.  Clare Boothe Luce said,

“Money can’t buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you’re being miserable.”

Surely, it feels better crying in a Rolls Royce than in a Toyota. (Don’t ask how I know that)

What If the Roles Are Reversed

Imagine, for a moment, that the roles were reversed. What if it was your friend who won the jackpot, thanks in part to a small loan from you? How would you want them to treat you in that situation? (I would want them to give me half)

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