Winning the lottery is a dream come true for most people, especially since it provides the opportunity to financially support your family. At least, that’s how some people might look at it.
But not this guy — who won a $22 million jackpot, and his two children don’t know — because he and his wife never actually told them.
On a recent episode of “The Ramsey Show,” an anonymous caller named “John” told host Dave Ramsey that he had won a multi-state drawing with his coworkers and only told his wife and one of his siblings.
“John” said that he researched common mistakes people make when they win the lottery, and one was telling too many people about it because they expect you to pay for everything or give handouts.
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“My wife and I made a conscious decision to just kind of keep it under wraps,” the caller explained. “We haven’t even told our two teenage children. And I know that sounds strange but we just don’t want them to grow up to be waiters, you know, waiting for us to die so they can get our money.”
“John” said he doesn’t necessarily plan to keep it from his children forever, though he hasn’t told his parents, either.
About a month after he won the lottery, “John” said that his wife’s great-uncle passed away and left his inheritance to her and her siblings, joking that the couple has used that as their “cover story” when they use the winnings to help people.
Other ways the couple has been able to keep the winnings from their kids and parents: The family home mortgage was already paid off before the lottery win, and they had purchased two Toyotas in cash before winning. “John” said the family is not “looking to upgrade.”
The lottery winner also told Ramsey that he’s received sound investment advice and that he has a “team” of people helping him with what to do with the funds, much to Ramsey’s approval.
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The lucky lotto winner may be onto something with his decision to keep his winnings and financial status private: According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, a staggering 70% of lottery winners go bankrupt within a few years of winning.