When people win the lottery, it's not only common for them to hide their identity in an effort to remain anonymous, but it's also highly encouraged. It's best for their safety, and also keeps people out of awkward situations where family and friends pressure them to give up part of their winnings.
Last month, we debated over a woman who won the lottery but was made to feel guilty for refusing her husband's suggestion of splitting the money with his best friend.
Now, I've run across a story by redditor u/Feisty-Put2529, or Feisty for short, who was attending an intimate, 10-person destination wedding in Cyprus as a bridesmaid when another guest won a scratch-off and quickly fell under the microscope. "As part of the wedding favors, the bride and groom gave everyone a lottery scratch card in a cute little pouch," Feisty shared.
"We all sat down to eat, and while we were waiting, one of our friends, let's call her Sarah, started jumping up and down shouting she had won £5,000, or about $6,400, on the scratch card. The whole room erupted in applause, and the bride and groom ran over to congratulate them. It was already a very happy occasion, but this just made it even better," she continued.
"The next day, we all sat down for breakfast in the villa and were chatting about the wedding and Paul and Sarah’s win. They were saying what they planned to do with the winnings, and everyone was asking questions, and I casually asked how much of it they were going to give to the bride and groom."
"There was no agenda behind my question. I didn’t ask because I was trying to hint that they should do this; it just never occurred to me as a possibility that they wouldn’t give at least a small amount as a belated wedding gift to the bride and groom, given they wouldn’t have had the ticket without them."
"Sarah and Paul both went very quiet, and Paul said they weren’t going to give them anything. We sat in awkward silence for a bit, and Sarah got up and walked out. Later by the pool, it was clear Sarah had been crying, and Paul said I was an asshole for making them feel awkward and implying they were cheap. I apologized and said that’s not what I meant."
"Paul walked off, and neither of them spoke to me for the rest of the holiday or since. Speaking with the rest of our friend group and my partner, they said they agree, Paul and Sarah should give something to the bride and groom as a thank you, but they also said that while it wasn’t my intention, my question did made the situation awkward. So am I the asshole?" Feisty concluded.
At this point, I will admit my natural inclination was not the asshole because I also assumed anyone would offer a small "thank you" payment to the person who gifted them a huge winning lottery ticket. But WOW, was I wrong. The overwhelming vote? Asshole.
Whether Feisty meant well or not, many people felt as though she had no right to get involved in a situation that didn't involve her. "You're the asshole," user u/pippi2424 commented. "Everybody got a scratch card. It is NOT your business to inquire how they would spend that money, especially in public, regardless of your intention."
Others couldn't fathom being asked to make a major decision in front of a room full of people without hardly any time to think about things.
"You put them on the spot. In a room full of people," user u/mythoughtsrrandom said. "It's like when someone proposes marriage in public and the other person really wants to say no."
Besides, u/mythoughtsrrandom added, the ticket was a gift, and no one should expect their gift to be repaid. "Lottery is given as a gift often. Unless the winnings are life-changing, sharing isn't necessary IMO. Are we supposed to split every $10?"
And even if the number is far above $10, like the £5,000 won, some said it's still not life-changing enough to warrant splitting.
"You're the asshole. £5,000 is a great win, but it’s not so much they can share it without making their windfall pretty meaningless to them in the end. And because of the way you phrased the question, you stopped them from making a kind gesture themselves and turned it into an obligation where the amount they decided to share would then be an issue for people to question if it was 'enough' or not. It’s such a shame you turned something nice for them into something that made them sad. The bride and groom did a nice, fun thing. They’ll have had wedding gifts and attention on their special day. Is that not enough?" user u/chingness posed.
And to shut down any last thoughts I had on the bride and groom deserving a cut, since Sarah and Paul wouldn't have the ticket without them, u/ConsitutionalHistory said:
"Agreeing privately that the winners should donate some money to the couple is one thing...asking in a public setting 'how much' they were going to give back was simply rude. That was not your place and you basically heaped public shame on them."