Monday, February 25, 2008

How Would You Act if You Won $270 Million in the Lottery?

This morning, I had a rare opportunity to watch the Today Show. They interviewed the couple from Georgia who just won a jackpot of $270 million. I'm sure they were not people who were accustomed to being interviewed on national television, but it still kind of cracked me up that they were so completely unemotional about their big win. The wife slightly cracked a smile a few times, but the husband was so expressionless and unexcited. I know everyone's different, but I can't imagine acting that way if I won a huge jackpot that would change my life like that! I'd be nervous on TV too, but I wouldn't be able to wipe the smile off my face!

18 comments:

nofearingthemoney said...

I wouldn't be on tv if I could help it. For the first 6 months, only three people would know: my husband, my accountant and my investment advisor. I exaggerate for the point, but I would need the time to work out a reasonable plan and going on television would not help me to do so.

But at home: yeah, huge smile, all day long!

guinness416 said...

Smiling? How about insane face-split grinning?

While I agree with nofearing that I surely wouldn't be broadcasting my newfound wealth (why do people do that?) I think people would be able to tell - apart from smiling, I'd be whistling into my bosses office to quit and practically dancing down the street as I go about my business.

HalfASoul said...

I'd definitely keep it quiet. I might even see if I could set up a trust to claim the money so that even fewer people would know who I am.

But yeah, I'd definitely be smiling for a while nonstop.

Debbie M said...

Maybe they'd already been jumping up and down and squealing for several days, and hearing the same questions a twelfth time was less than exciting.

Maybe they are from a stiff-upper-lip type of background.

Maybe they were trying to not look like idiots while on TV--being on TV could definitely freak people out, and people freak out in different ways--sweating, talking too much, becoming mute, laughing too loudly, etc.

Anonymous said...

People always seem to know who the lottery winners are, which makes me think that you must be required to announce it or something. Otherwise I would expect a lot of people would not announce it (I know I wouldn't)

RacerX said...

I would think shock ties into this.But there is no way you would get me on TV about that.There are some not-so-nice folk out there.

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deonne said...

Maybe they're both still in shock, hence the lack of emotion? (ha) I have to ask the commenters here - what would you do with the money? How would your life change, or not? (May be too big a question to ask here, but I'm curious...)

Anonymous said...

There was a great recent SNL skit about this... the Target lady (not in character) was interviewing a winner on his front porch and she was like a BILLION times more excited than the winner was - he just stood there and nodded... hilarious suspense in watching her try to convince him that he should be more excited.

Then the winner checks the cap to his soda bottle and sees that he won a free Pepsi and he starts FLIPPING OUTTTT!!!!! "HONEY LOOK AT THIS OMG I'M A WINNER!!! WAHOOO!"

So, you get the picture... it's a good skit. Target lady is very funny.

"Future Millionaire" said...

I'm with nofearingthemoney. If I could help it I wouldn't tell anyone until I'd gotten my act together. As for as smiling and being over excited, I'd probably be still trying to soak it all in and be in shock and hardly able to speak, even a few days after the event.

I am J said...

I read a lot of your articles but rarely comment. However I laughed also at these two. When the husband said he would quit his job and hunt and fish I thought wow! He is basically acting like he just got an extra $20 in his paycheck. Hilarious!!!

Now me...well. You wouldnt be able to find me for MONTHS. But I think that if you win you have to appear as some lottery stipulations. I could be wrong lol

I can't lie, it prompted me to buy a few tickets. I'm at work today so obviously my luck is not good like theirs.

Clean ClutterFree Simple said...

I'd keep it quiet. Take the lump sum payout, not the annuity. Pay off student loans and mortgage. Donate some to my favourite charities (La Leche League & Attachment Parenting International) Invest the rest in a balanced portfolio. Go to Paris for two weeks of croque monsiours and red wine. Gloat silently.

Heidi at BankerGirl said...

I saw this as well - I couldn't beleive what a bad interview these two were! They didn't seem at all excited, and when asked what they were going to do with the money, buying a car (Mercedes for her) and truck (4WD for him) where at the top of their list.

Since they had already made the commitment to talk about their big win on national TV, you would think that they would show some enthusiasm.

Personally, I'd call my attorney and financial advisor and hop a plane to some place warm for a year or so. Once everyone lost my phone number and forgot my name I'd come back and start my consulting business.

Anonymous said...

There was an interview on Oprah with the West and Cheney family who still clips coupons (though they were very excited):
http://www.oprah.com/tows/slide/200706/20070611/slide_20070611_350_108.jhtml

BuckeyeChris said...

Wow! I just found your blog. Great stuff! My plan, if I ever won this kind of money would be to live off of the interest until I am 50 and then start spending the principle. Even at low interest rates you could live VERY well on the interest alone and you wouldn't have to worry about becoming one of those tragic stories of people who "win it all" and promptly "lose it all."

deonne said...

Buckeyechris - that's a smart money plan, but I'm curious as to what you would do with your time. I'm a freelance writer/soon to be grad student, and I would say I'd do the same thing I'm doing now, with just a lot less stress about how to pay the bills (ha). Well, plus some amazing trips...

Anonymous said...

i have heard it's actually better to do the press release/interview when it happens, get it overwith and THEN drop out. because if you avoid, it will be in the spotlight longer which is what you don't want. and yeah, change ph #'s etc.

~ib

winner wannabe said...

I'd contact a tax advisor, and set up a partnership with my family and close friends, so we could share the money without the gift tax. Then I'd retire, and have more time for travel and other hobbies. Of course I'd give a lot to charity. I would try to avoid publicity (is this possible?), because I wouldn't want strangers to try to take advantage of me.