Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Too Good To Be True

Have you ever been told you won something, but then found out there was a catch? Maybe more than one? I was recently informed that I won a cruise to the Bahamas after filling out an entry form at an amusement park last month; I wanted the first prize, which was $50,000. I was excited for a second, and then I was told that I had to go to the cruise ship company's office and listen to a presentation for one hour and I was required to have a particular annual salary per year, but I did not have to buy anything from them to qualify for the cruise. It sounded fishy to me, and since I did not meet the second requirement, I decided to pass. Even though I am cynical about these promotional scams, I am still taken in at times.

My mother plays the lottery whenever she gets the chance, and while I understand why she does it, I doubt we will ever answer the door to discover a group of well-dressed people with a cameraman, lots of balloons, and an over sized check for millions of dollars. Part of me dreads that scenario, because I know what would follow: estranged relatives and long-lost friends emerging from the shadows to kiss up to us for obvious reasons and becoming paranoid of anyone who tries to get close. I have seen people become more isolated and distrustful of others around them when more money comes into their lives. I would like to think that I could handle a fortune without succumbing to the pressures and fears of possessing it, but it is easy to say when it has not happened. I guess if something is too good to be true, it often is, especially when it comes to contests, lotteries, and other money schemes that can often blind us from reality.

Do you agree with my thoughts on these “too good to be true” situations? If you suddenly won the lottery, do you think you could handle the pressure and maintain your millions?

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