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It is said that money can tear a family apart. Sometimes just the illusion of money can be the culprit. For years now, Sara and I have had a running discussion about lottery tickets.
“Mom, I think we should each buy a ticket and split the winnings if either one of us wins.”
I liked the idea. 50-50. I had my dollar out of my purse ready to invest when the rules changed.
“Um, Mom, I was thinking maybe 60-40 split.”
“Very generous of you, honey,” I replied already thinking about how I was going to spend the extra money.
“I was thinking 60 for me and 40 for you.”
“Well you’re not going to live as long as me,” she said in a slightly too-cheery voice, “so you won’t need as much money.”
As the years passed so did the versions of how to divide the money
Sara offered 65-35.
I countered with 51- 49 in my favor.
“Mom, you know I’ll take care of you. Right?”
I knew that would be her intent, but what if a fully-staffed sprawling estate in the south of France caught her fancy at the same time her mom needed, say, false teeth?
“Who needs teeth?” she might say. “I’ll have pablum flown into you on the private jet I just bought.”
Recently, when the pot rose to 1.28 billion, my daughter sent me an urgent text.
“Buy a lottery ticket before 7 tonight.” Since I would be buying the ticket, she was offering a 70-30 split in my favor.
“Would you put this in writing and sign it?” I asked.
“Geez, mama; we’re running out of time.”
“Is that a yes or no?”
When the conversation lapsed into tax consequences, she became stressed about what would be left of her paltry 30%. She also expressed concern about friends wanting to borrow money when you become suddenly wealthy.
I declined to worry about that, saying I would just spend my last years having a blast and go out with a bang.
By the time the subject changed to learning how to control my overspending of money we did not have, with nothing left to leave to her, we had blown our chance. It was after 7 and the ticket sales had shut down for the night.
Greed has its own karma.
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How to divide up all that lottery money we didn’t win before time runs out
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