From childhood I could never resist entering in contests on cereal boxes, in bubble gum packages, in newspapers magazines or on television. I have tried to win everything from a pet turtle, to a yacht, to a home in the mountains, to large sums of money. Well, imagine my surprise after years of entering and losing, at being notified last year that I was a winner. The special delivery letter informed me that I had been awarded the grand prize of $500,000 for the four-line song that I had sent in to a cigarette company. After my immediate excitement, I made great plans to spend the money, and indeed, I have spent a great deal of it. However, perhaps more interesting than my purchases of things I always wanted to buy, now six months after that memorable day, are the effects on my life of winning a great sum of money. Through this experience, I have come to know other people and myself better.
2. I made a list of things I had always dreamed of having but could never before afford, and I went on the greatest shopping spree of my life. Within a month, I had bought a new stereo system, an expensive sports car, lots of new clothes, and a cabin in the woods. Moreover, I must say I am very pleased with my new purchases. For example, I enjoy listening to records on my stereo and driving my Porsche to the cabin in the weekends. My new car was very comfortable and nice in color. I have found that I very much appreciate the pleasure of having a lot of money.
3. Another effect, and less enjoyable, has been the change in other people toward me. Within the first month, I found that people who had hardly spoken to me before were suddenly "friendly." For instance, I was invited to parties by people I hardly knew and was expected to return the invitations. Even with some of my oldest friends, I was expected to pay the bill on our nights together, because I had "all the money". After a while, I became suspicious of people and their motives, thinking that they only wanted to be with me for my money.