April Fools’ Day is one of my favorite “holidays”. Growing up our whole family was always trying to outdo one another or be the first to play a joke. Instead of playing a joke on you, I want to share one of our best jokes. It even has a great financial twist.
The best joke, which was also the worst joke in our family history was about 15 years ago. Here’s how it went:
The Winning Sweepstakes
My mom got a phone call early in the morning on April 1. The caller informed her she had won a sweepstakes and asked her to produce a number off the entry.
She asked my dad to find the number… and was horrified when he couldn’t find it immediately. Once he located it, she read the number and he confirmed she was the winner.
She should have been tipped off when the caller told her she had won not only the grand prize of $250,000, but the second prize – a car and third prize – a riding lawn mower too! At this point, she didn’t even realize it was April Fools’ Day.
She proceeded to run the numbers and determine how much money she would have after taxes. She planned to invest it conservatively and spend only the income from it, similar to the 4% safe withdrawal rate used for early retirement calculations .
Once she was certain that she had her calculations figured out she started telling her family and friends. Her sister pointed out it was April 1, but since my dad was with her when she received the call, she insisted that this was the real thing.
Revealing the Hoax
Because of the success of this joke, my dad let it continue… into the next day! By time he revealed to be an April Fools’ Day joke (he had the neighbor call), my mom had already rewritten her life with her new found wealth!
She got the opportunity to do some terrific financial planning… but April Fools’ Day will never be the same at their house again!
What to do you think? Could you play such a joke on a family member without it backfiring?
Article featured in: Carnival of Money Stories .