HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

This week’s Dilemma Friday comes courtesy of Lynette Curtis: (Yep, I decided to keep it, so thanks for the comments guys)

You pick up your mother-in-law from work as a favor because her car is in the shop and you work fairly close to each other.

As a thank you, when you stop through the McDonald’s drive-through to pick up dinner for your family she pays for it. McDonalds is doing their Monopoly sweepstakes. When you get home and your familly eat dinner you collect the pieces for a lark and realize you’ve just won 5,000.

What do you do? Do you give the money to your mother-in-law who paid for the dinner, split it, or don’t tell her?


  • Marianne McA
    November 6
    9:31 am

    I’d ring my mother-in-law straight away and tell her the good news, and she’d be delighted for us. I might buy them a present, or take them out to dinner on the strength of it, but I know if I tried to give it to her she’d tell me not to be silly.

    At the moment it’d probably go into the childrens’ university fund, and she’d entirely approve of that.

    (If I paid, and they won, I’d be happy for them.)


  • Okay, so since I’m not married (anymore), and never will be (again), my “mother in law” of sorts is my best friend/life partner’s mother. Who is a cracked out, mentally insane, vindictive horrible woman. So no, I wouldn’t tell her. She’d either demand the whole amount and spend it on trashy lingerie or flying her internet boyfriends to visit her or she’d say we could keep it and then hold it over our heads for the rest of eternity. Better she doesn’t know.

    Why yes, I hate the woman, how did you guess?


  • Sparkindarkness
    November 6
    1:16 pm

    Tell her.

    The money is very nice – but I – and my partner – have to live with the fact we have possibly ripped off my mother in law and his mother. She probably wouldn’t expect the money anyway. But I don’t think I could spend the rest of our lives with that big a lie between family


  • I’d tell her, no question.

    If she wanted to split, I’d have no trouble with it.


  • Ghetto Diva
    November 6
    1:40 pm

    I’d tell her.

    I wouldn’t split it. I’ve done enough “favors” for my in laws and my own family to split the money with them.

    But I would probably give them a few hundred dollars, or take them out on a nice dinner, nice gift. Something like that.


  • Bev Stephans
    November 6
    2:39 pm

    If we’re doing hypothetical here, I would split the money, but if it was my ex mother-in-law, no way! She was a bitch on wheels!


  • My MIL could really use the money, but when she has anything, she gives it to her other children who waste it. She would refuse it if we offered since DH *is* one of her children :). I would definitely want to use a portion of it to get my MIL’s car repaired or something costly she would otherwise refuse to do for herself–and also something that would benefit HER, not something she could just give away.


  • Anon76
    November 6
    4:24 pm

    I’d offer to split just to keep the family peace and my own peace-of-mind. This even after my now deceased MIL bashed up my car in her driveway while hubby and I were dating and claimed no knowledge of the event. (He wasn’t a mommy’s boy, he’d moved back in because his parents were divorcing and she was acting very odd due to depression.)

    As you can probably tell, even though I know she wasn’t feeling well, the instance still irks me. But I wouldn’t want to be in her position and have something like this win forever hanging over my head. So a def offer to split.


  • Diane V
    November 6
    4:36 pm

    i’d give her ALL the money – I wouldn’t have had the 5Gs if she wouldn’t have bought the food. Not worth the problems you’d have with her the rest of your life…and in most cases she’d probably offer to split the money with you.


  • I’d tell her and offer to split the money with her. I’d do this no matter what the amount was. Knowing my MIL, she’d tell me to keep it in any case. At the very least, I’d buy her a nice gift.

    My mother’s family fell out over money. No way would I want to do the same.


  • Las
    November 6
    6:38 pm

    Depends on the MIL…

    It honestly wouldn’t even occur to me to keep it a secret. Not because I’m just that honest, but because it wouldn’t occur to me that she’d raise a stink about it. I’d definitely split it with her…unless I hated her.


  • Chantal
    November 6
    6:44 pm

    Hey, this question is close to home.
    I would tell her and offer her some of it, but I know my MIL–she would say that it was a gift and would not take the money.

    Here is my story: I bought a coffee for a friend, that friend won the big cash prize of ten thousand dollars.
    She gave me $500 in a thank you card.
    It did not ask for any money, I was not expecting any money. If she had not given me a thing I would have been okay with it.
    I bought her the coffee, it became hers. That simple.

    I do admit that I was a tad jealous, though 🙂

    On a similar note. I have a friend who bought me a tea but she went and rolled up the rim before before she gave it to me. I thought that was very weird.


  • Lynette
    November 6
    6:51 pm

    I thought of this as I was peeling off the monopoly pieces, LOL. Unfortunatly, I didn’t win anything.

    Am I a bad person because I decided that although I would tell her, I’d probably lie about the amount and buy her something awesoem that I knew she wanted.

    Just being honest.



  • Well, the prize is not hers. The food was a gift–and also something of a thank-you from her for the ride. I would tell her about it, because if I didn’t I would feel like a liar, somehow.

    And I might buy her something nice that I know she wants. But the fact is, if she expected something because of the five thousand dollar prize, that would be like someone trying to take back a gift because they hadn’t realized the value of it in the first place. Worse. Since the gift in question never belonged to the MIL, and she never would have bought that food if I didn’t stop to get it for my family.


  • I’d tell her and take her out for dinner. A fancy one. From the sounds of the example MIL has common decency. I can’t tell you how many people don’t even mutter thanks when you do something for them.


  • eggs
    November 7
    12:19 am

    If it was my own mother or a friend, I’d tell them straight away and split it right down the middle. If it was my MIL, I’d never breath a word because she would a) insist that I keep it all; and then b) Lord that fact over me for the rest of eternity, judging what I’d spent it on, telling me what I should have spent it on, etc. If the choice was tell her or give the entire 5K away, I would totally give it away.


  • SamG
    November 7
    12:45 am

    I think I’d *try* to give it to mine. She has given us money each time we bought a van (the first time because we wanted something else and she said she’d chip in if we got a van because then we could travel together…so I kind of earned that $$$ by biting my tongue ;). We haven’t traveled with her as much with this one (kids in school, less compatible travel times etc.), so I’d like to pay her back and not feel guilty for not wanting to travel with her.

    Of course, she wouldn’t take the money. She’d just say ‘when I’m old you can buy me beans’ (her favorite quote for some stupid reason.



  • willaful
    November 7
    4:40 am

    My first instinct is to split it. It just seems like the right thing to do.


  • I’d give her the money; after all, she’d paid for dinner and I didn’t drive to Ronald Land for the specific purpose of gambling for burgers or cash, lol. But knowing my mother-in-law, if she were still alive, she’d insist my husband and I keep it. She could talk like queen of the harpies at times, but underneath it she had a heart of gold and her family always came first.


  • I’d offer to give her the money. If she offered to split it, I’d say okay. It was her money that bought it.


  • I say its her money. But she better damned well not have bought me a Happy Meal or we will have words.


  • Amanda
    November 10
    4:37 pm

    Sure why not, I would split the money evenly, although my ex-mother-in law would never buy me food. I was the one always buying food for them LOL!!!!


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment