Fighting over money can bring out the very worst in some people, whether they’re distant acquaintances or your closest relations. And things can get incredibly heated when there’s a golden jackpot full of millions up for grabs.

A recent lottery winner, who hit it big and got a whopping 5.6 million dollars in October, shared what happened to him. He turned to the AITA subreddit for their verdict on whether or not he was a jerk because he decided not to give his family any of the money.

Instead, he decided to do the smart thing. The fallout in his social circle, however, was pretty big. You’ll find the full story below, Pandas. Let us know whose side you’re on. And if you’ve ever won the lottery, let us know in the comments whether it changed you, because research shows that people tend to stay the same even after getting millions.

Bored Panda reached out to financial expert Sam Dogen, the author of ‘Buy This, Not That: How to Spend Your Way to Wealth and Freedom’ and the founder of Financial Samurai, to talk about winning the lottery and how we should behave to protect our wealth. He said that it’s inevitable that family members fight over the winnings “because everybody has either a money problem or a money desire. If the winner doesn’t magnanimously share their winnings with family members and friends, they will be seen as selfish and greedy,” he said.

Sam believes that the best course of action is to keep the fact that you won the lottery a secret if possible. “I’m all about Stealth Wealth. If you win the lottery, do your best to keep it a secret. Furthermore, if you win the lottery at work or in your investments, never brag about how much you make either. Instead, try to blend in as much as possible. You can always then be more generous with your money if you wish, without expectations.”


Most of us have thought about how our lives would change if we won the lottery

Image credits: Emiliano Vittoriosi (not the actual photo)

Well, one man explained what he did with his 5.6-million-dollar jackpot and how his family reacted to his decisions

Image credits: Grand-Signature-4590

Financial expert Sam told Bored Panda how lottery winners should deal with their sudden wealth in order to preserve it. “The first thing to do is sit on your winnings for at least three months and live your life as usual. During this time, read as much financial literature online from sources who have no interest in your money. For example, you can come to Financial Samurai to learn about a proper net worth asset allocation to help ensure your wealth lasts longer,” he suggested.


“Once you get educated and have formulated a good idea of what you want to do, you can then seek professional advice from a fee-based financial advisor. Or, you can implement your capital allocation yourself. Take your time! There is no rush. You just won the lottery!”

Psychology Today points out how Bengt Larsson discovered that lottery winners tend to remain the same. The only thing that changes is that they generally consume a lot more. The myth that winners become someone entirely different is pretty much that—just a myth.

The redditor’s main concern was that he would fall into the same trap that a lot of winners do: spending all of the winnings within just a few short years. Instead, the author of the post explained how he decided to take care of his and his wife’s future by investing the money and paying off all their debt.

However, this meant that he wouldn’t be able to give his family any of the cash. Some of you Pandas might be surprised to learn that they didn’t take it well when they heard that they wouldn’t be getting a cent. They expected that this sudden financial blessing would mean that someone pays off all of their debts without them having to lift a finger. And imagine all the luxurious family trips they’d all take!

The family quickly turned on the redditor after he explained what he did with the money. They ostracized him pretty quickly, telling him to never speak to them again. Apparently, if you don’t spend all of your money on someone, you’re automatically branded as someone who is no longer a part of the family. Entitled much? You bet.


Financial adviser Robert Pagliarini explained to Business Insider that the very first thing a lottery winner should do after confirming the jackpot is all theirs is to take “a very deep breath,” and then hire an attorney, a tax specialist, and a financial adviser.

“This financial dream team can help you make smart financial decisions and help you plan for the future,” the expert said.

Pagliarini warned that many lottery winners experience the so-called “honeymoon stage of sudden wealth.” Quite a few allow the prize money to dictate how their lives change, but winners should do their best to resist this. This means actively planning out how you’d like your life to look. For that, you need a clear strategy on how you’ll use the money to achieve your goals. In other words, you need to be the one in control of the pot of gold, not the other way around. Exactly what the redditor who asked the internet for advice did.

Most people were very supportive of the redditor. Here’s what they had to say about the entire family drama


Some internet users asked for a bit more information and the OP was open to sharing more about himself

People generally thought that there was nothing wrong with doing the smart thing with your winnings