One woman in the UK has taken to Reddit to share the strange game her grandfather devised to reward the family member who visited him the most during the month of December. Setting up 16 jars (one for each adult in the family), her granddad had secretly placed $100 for every hour that a family member spent with him in their corresponding jar with the intention of gifting the person with the most money their jar at the end of the month. However, the rest of the family were not impressed when they heard about his little ‘game.’
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 £3200. 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, everytime a member of the family visited him, he’d put £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 £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.
Edit: 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 £3200 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 :/
People were divided in the commnets section over Grandad’s game, with some people thinking it was his money to give to whoever he pleased, and others labelling the game as a manipulation tactic.
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. 😅 (stressedpesitter)
Of the people who supported grandad’s game, many thought that the family’s reaction was fuelled by jealousy or guilt.
NTA – my grandparents talked about doing something similar! Certain amounts for texts, phone calls, in person visits, etc. He wants to see his family! It’s his money, he can do as he pleases with it, and he showed how much you visiting him meant. Your family is just bitter because it’s a large amount. If your uncle, your mom, your aunt, your cousin would’ve received it – everyone else would be jealous of the person that got it. NTA, enjoy your time with your grandpa. You didn’t know you were being given money to hang out with him, you just visited him because you love him. Don’t let your family get you down because you love your grandpa. (Ok_Government_4222)
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 mothers reaction was selfish. (lostdad75)
He’s caused the others to reflect on their attitude toward him. I think OP’s grandfather played a blinder. I would do something similar. It is a fun way for him to gift money to a relative. (roboticlee)
One commenter even suggested that it may have given them cause for concern regarding their inheritance.
Sadly I think everyone is bent out of shape about it because they think they’re seeing a precursor to the reading of the will. They’re realizing that maybe their place in the bloodline is not enough to ensure their inheritance and maybe are seeing that grandpa has noticed no one is visiting. And that grandpa is going to do whatever he wants to do regardless of polite convention. So they feel chastised by essentially getting called out, being shown up by a busy young lady, and realizing that not only has grandpa noticed their lack of interaction with him but he’s made it known to others in the family. And they’re scared that their time spent with him may correlate directly to dollars if he passes.
I hope that isn’t the case but in all my years seeing the fallout when someone passes away and how terrible people become when they don’t get what they feel they’re entitled to via “birthright”. It’s very sad and very ugly and very divisive. (Amazing_Cabinet1404)
However, many people also felt that the grandfather was out of line, and felt that the whole thing had been divised to create drama and make his family members feel bad.
You are NTA, but I’m afraid your grandfather is. The only reason he did this was to create drama and fighting within the family, and while you’ve gotten money, you’re also the focus of this.
Just because a relative didn’t visit as much doesn’t mean they don’t care. If someone is from out of town and has a lot of family, it can be really difficult to see all of them, far less for a huge chunk of time.
How much visiting did he do btw? I bet he wouldn’t appreciate it if the family started keeping score on him. Its not fair that he did this, its great you’ve spent a lot of time with him but the rest of the family isn’t awful because they didn’t. If anyone has a lot of work, young kids, disabled, there are lots of reasons they can’t make as much time as you’re able. Doesn’t mean they don’t care.
Family are now angry and upset with him, if he thinks that’ll get him more visits, he’s sadly mistaken. You can keep the money, it was his to give but be careful of these twisted games in the future. Sorry you’re dealing with this. (MissSparkles89)
Grandpa is TA here. It sounds like he has lots of people visiting him and they spend plenty of time with him. Instead of enjoying that, he decided to turn it into a competition aimed at making all but one person feel guilty. (alltreesdreams)
Ok so I think this game is bonkers. If you spent 32 hours, the next most spent 26 hours, and there are several others in the family he’s done this with – then he’s clearly been visited often in the space of 30 days.
This feels a bit manipulative on your grandad’s part.
But that’s his problem. I would say NTA purely because what else were you gonna do? but people have a right to be mad given that by the look of it everyone is spending time with him. (Visual-Review2933)
What do you think? Was grandad’s game harmless fun and a way to gift money to a loved one, or was it a manipulation tactic?