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'AITA for accepting the prize money for winning a game I didn't know I was playing?'

'AITA for accepting the prize money for winning a game I didn't know I was playing?'


'AITA for accepting the prize money for winning a game I didn't know I was playing?'

So I (21F) went to my grandads (80M) house last week and he handed me a jar full of cash with my name on it. He told me to count it and it came to around $3,200. I asked him what it was for and he explained the rules of the game he'd been playing with the whole family:

From the 1st of December 2023, to the 31st December 2023, every time a member of the family visited him, he'd put around $100 in their jar for every hour they spent with him.

At the end of the month, the person who spent the most time with him would receive all of the money in their jar, and the others would get nothing. He obviously didn't tell anybody that he was doing this so that no one spent extra time with him to get the money.

I won his "game" by around $600, so 6 hours more than the person who came second (my uncle). At first I didn't want to accept the money, only because I didn't think it was right to play games with people without them knowing, especially not your family. But after a while he convinced me to take my prize money because I "earned it."

When I got home, I told my parents about the money and explained his game to them. I told my mum where she came on the scoreboard (4th) and she was understandably upset at her father for making us unknowingly compete with each other. Then she told the rest of the family via a group chat.

So now pretty much my whole family is mad at my grandad for doing this, but also me for accepting the money. He is an old man and he's not exactly a millionaire, so they think that I should have refused the money and confronted him for what he did.

I think that if he was willing to play this game then he obviously has no problem with giving the money away, and he did insist on me taking it. Also, he's always been a weird guy, so although I don't agree with what he did, I'm not too surprised, so I don't think I should have had to start an argument with him about it.


Sorry I didn't make it clear enough, this took place between December 1st and December 31st of last year, so only lasting one month. Each person who visited him had a separate jar, so my jar had around $3,200 in it because I spent 32 hours with him. Other people had different amounts in their jars, but I only received what was in mine. :)

Another Edit: Thank you for all of the responses so far. I've seen a lot of comments about how his game was unfair because some people have more free time. That's completely true, although in this case, don't assume that just because I'm young, I have more free time.

I have a full time job, a partner, and a small side business to run, I have significantly less free time than most of my family, apart from maybe my uncle, who works slightly more hours than me.

The majority of my family work part time or not at all, and only my aunt has a young kid to attend to, but she doesn't work either. I'm not saying the game was fair, but I think most of my family would not have trouble finding the spare time to spend with him, some would just rather be doing anything else :/

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

bobofiddlesticks said:

NTA. And if you feel bad about receiving this money, might I suggest you spend it on experiences for you and your granddad to share?

stressedpesitter said:

NTA. Personally I think this game just shows which people in the family get along with him better/feel a certain closeness and understanding with your grandpa and thus spend time together. Is it a bit rude to put that into monetary value?

A bit, but he’s free to do what he wants, though I suspect now he’ll just get many more visits around xmas and he will not give money again next year.

lostdad75 said:

NTA. From the perspective of a parent of adult kids; I would be proud of my 21 y/o who regularly visited their grandparent. Your mother's reaction was selfish.

ladyteruki said:

NTA. Objectively, your grandfather has decided to give you money, and that's purely between the two of you. This should be the end of the story.

Now, if you want to discuss the "gamification" aspect of it, here's what I think. Your grandfather has noticed things (or he wouldn't have come up with this game), and to reward certain behaviors without encouraging purely greedy attitudes, he rewards them after the fact.

Family members being mad at losing this game and showing animosity (if not jealousy) because you did comes very close to an embarrassing self-report.

prettyinpinkleather said:

You’re NTA for accepting the money, but I wouldve kept it to myself. There’s a reason why gdad didn't say anything (apart from not wanting to buy his familys time). It’s just creating unnecessary conflict.

Maximum-Swan-1009 said:

NTA. Accept the money. They are only sore because they lost. Your grandfather was pretty clever. People will now visit him because they think he has a different game going on. LOL He has certainly made his point.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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