Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Legend: After being tricked into believing he's won the lottery, a man makes startling admissions prior to walking out on those closest to him.
Origins: What would you do if you won the lottery? Would it change who you are? Would it cause you to perhaps reveal who you really are?
Tales like these play on our fear of not really knowing what lurks in the hearts of our nearest and dearest. While those people we think we know like the backs of
Yet it's not just a lurking suspicion that we may be bedding down or daily rubbing elbows with a ruthless stranger that drives this legend; we also fear being abandoned by the ones we have placed our faith in. The idea that if circumstances in their lives were suddenly and greatly improved we'd be cast aside in a chicken minute underpins these tales of smiling, trustworthy masks suddenly ripped off once the money (supposedly) hits the table. In most tellings where the man walks out on the woman he swore to love, honor, and protect, it's not enough that he announce his intention to divorce his wife; he also feels compelled to reveal that he's been cheating on her for these many years. (Always with her sister, too; that detail makes him all the slimier.) In the versions featuring a tricked work colleague, it's not enough that he walk out on his job after telling his
Barbara "whole lotto shaking" Mikkelson
Last updated: 23 June 2008
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