My Surprise Jackpot
"A jackpot! This is unbelievable. Aaaaaah!"
I couldn't resist screaming in my head while I maintained a calm face after seeing the content of the cream-coloured envelope.
I often ponder whether I wanted things to slowly take shape or if they should be sprung on me. The slow —working, earning some money, saving and seeing the total sum in my bank account— gives me a sort of balance.
Then there are the surprises. They are unexpected and never enough time to savour the happiness that comes with it.
When I received a large sum of money for the first time as an adult, it was like winning the lottery. I had just left the comfort of my parents' home for the first time in my life to embark on a one-year compulsory program in a different part of the country.
I was excited. I was anxious and scared, but also ready for some independence. I did not realise that meant having my own money. I'd always depended on my parents. It was a stark reality.
Upon arriving in a city where the citizens spoke a different language, I felt like a stranger. Fortunately, I met a group of other new graduates who were also in the same program as I and they invited me to stay with them in a shared apartment. They were a friendly group, united by a sense of community spirit and cooperation. The apartment became a home and the residents were my new family.
A few days later, my father called to inform me that a family friend would be visiting to check on my well-being in my new surroundings. This family friend was a highly-placed judge and government official. I was not particularly excited about the visit as he was a busy man.
On the day of the visit, I was hot and hungry after work, as I had little food left at home and payday was still far away. My family friend called and asked me to meet him at the court premises. I almost did not go, but I'm glad I did!
When we met, we chatted for a long time and he expressed concern about my living situation. He made me promise to rent my apartment instead of living with strangers I had just met in the city. Before we parted ways, he handed me a cream-coloured envelope and inside were many crisp, mint-condition Naira bills. Now you understand why I screamed "jackpot" in my head.
I could smell the minty freshness of the notes. I had never been given such a large sum of money before. I thanked him profusely and left. On my way home, I held my handbag tightly as I felt like it was filled with treasure. I laugh at myself whenever I remember the entire scene. I was ready to ferociously fight anyone who would attempt to touch or take my bag.
At the apartment, I ate and relaxed while thinking about how I would spend the money. I was happy with my new family and saw no reason to leave. If I rented an apartment, I would be alone most of the time, but with this group, I felt warmth and security.
I called my parents and told them about the gift. They were happy and advised me to use the money wisely if I chose not to rent an apartment. Being a saver and not a spendthrift, I sat down and made a plan.
I invested 60% of the money in company shares. I was young and starting my adult life away from my parents' home. I had always dreamed of being financially independent and responsible, and this gift felt like the perfect starting point.
The following morning was a work-free day for me. With a spring in my steps, I made my way to the bank to purchase the shares and register them in my name. My very first investment! I was happy and proud of this accomplishment.
I also budgeted 10% of the money for groceries and food supplies for the apartment. I had noticed that some of my housemates were already doing this, and I wanted to contribute as well.
When my friends asked how I had come across the money, I told them about the gift. One of them suggested I should have thrown a party to celebrate. However, I didn't see the point in wasting the money on a party when I could use it to purchase food for the house which would last us many days. (Yep, I told you I'm a saver).
My friends/housemates expected me to be over the moon for receiving such a huge amount of money that many would work a year to earn. I did not understand maybe because I believed money should not determine happiness.
A person should be in harmony with his surroundings including people without the influence of money. I have seen people lose it because they don't have money. I wouldn't blame them —it's the means to getting almost everything we need. And I have seen people become crazy because they get huge chunks of money. They end up doing something drastic and regretting it after wasting money.
With this gift, I bought a new phone. My old one was not as fast. That's the one luxury I afforded myself then and I was happy I did. I used the phone for many years and it was a constant reminder of my family friend's gift.
I've never fantasised about winning a lottery because it's not tied to hard work but rather a form of gambling. Many lose hard-earned money to play the lottery and the same would be used to pay a single or double winner of the lottery. It's like the wealth of a group of persons passed to a single person just because he is lucky.
If I did win the lottery, I would invest more, help the people around me and make some changes to my lifestyle, a more comfortable one.
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Your story was inspiring and highlights the importance of having a level head and strong investment plans in the event of a lottery win. It's so easy to get caught up in celebrating winning a large sum of money that people can get carried away.
Thank you so much for getting involved and sharing your story with us, and we look forward to seeing your interaction with other writers within the community:)
Well said. 🙂 Many thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to read my story. I'm delighted it resonated with you.
Your friend's gift was almost like winning the lottery. sometimes aid comes from where they are least expected. You have beautiful intentions with those most in need, I think that it is very meritorious and satisfying to do it when you have the economic possibility.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment, @rinconpoetico7. I completely agree that sometimes help comes from unexpected places and it's a blessing to be able to give back to those in need. Your kind words about my intentions is truly appreciated. 🙂
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I remember just starting out in the university it was the first time I had to live with strangers.
Totally loved the experience because it showed me another outlook towards life when you're not around your immediate family.
You captured my experience aptly here. This was the main reason I stayed in the shared apartment. I made lifelong friends.
Thanks so much for reading my story. 🙂
This is an interesting perspective on the influence of money on people. It is true that money can be a powerful motivator, but it is important to remember that it is not the only factor that affects our behavior. It is also important to consider the impact of our environment, relationships, and other factors on our decisions and actions. It is important to strive for balance and harmony in our lives, regardless of our financial situation.
Amazing pieces to go through..
Thanks for sharing..
I couldn't agree more. This is my stance on this issue but it doesn't always work this way. The power of money is great! 😅 Thanks so much for stopping by. !PIZZA
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One must've been extremely fortunate to come across a considerable amount of money. Good thing you know your priority and didn't put the money to waste by throwing a party.