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Wealthy Relatives: I Have A Few!

Here in Canada, our Lotto Max draw was worth an estimated $65 million dollars, I, along with countless other Canadians, went to bed with dreams of what it would be like to wake up on Wednesday morning to find ourselves financially secure beyond our wildest dreams.

The jackpot, which was a record for Canada (unlike other countries, like the US where jackpots regularly go well above this amount), went, but not to me. Somewhere in this vast country a person, or persons, are now tax-free multimillionaires.

Winning the lottery is a dream which most of us share. Who wouldn't want to be free of paying bills and be able to enjoy the jet-set lifestyle? I, for one, would love to not have to worry about finances ever again, and be able to look after my friends and family. I would most likely continue to work even if I did win millions in the lottery; to sit around and do nothing is just not in my genetic make-up. Vast amounts of money would simply allow me the freedom to do what I want, when I wanted to do it. Giving of my time would no longer be a luxury that I could ill afford, and helping make the world a better place would become a full-time job.

My regular readers will already know that I have an inordinate number of very successful individuals in my family tree. Family surnames such as Rockefeller, Morgan, Stanley, Roosevelt and Woolworth all share common ancestors with yours truly. The number of Gilded Age wealthy family members is only outnumbered by the number of rebels that are scattered throughout my extensive family tree.

While a lot of my distant family members had great wealth at their disposal, and some like the Rockefeller family still do, their wealth neither makes them great or important. What they have done with their wealth and power makes them exceptional people.

The Rockefeller family is probably the best example I can find of a wealthy family that has shared their luck and financial fortune to help society improve. The Rockefeller family came from humble beginnings (of course they did, otherwise how would I be related to them?), but when wealth arrived, they made sure to give back to the country that helped them amass such a great fortune. This started with the Rockefeller family patriarch, John D. Rockefeller, and his generous gifts that totaled more than $500 million by 1934 ($9 billion in 2019 dollars), and this sense of community and charity work has continued unabated down through the subsequent Rockefeller generations to today's generation. The Rockefeller Foundation ( is a foundation founded by the Rockefeller family that was set up to promote the well-being of humanity. This mission has remained unchanged since 1913.

Unlike many other Gilded-Age families, the Rockefeller family has remained wealthy through the generations that have come since John D. Rockefeller began amassing what would become the largest family fortune seen before or since. Many of my other family members, such as the Woolworth's, saw their fortunes quickly disappear within only 2 generations, their wealth spent frivolously with little thought to the future.

While I continue to wait for my "ship to come in", I hope that when it does I will remember the great philanthropic work of my distant cousins, the Rockefellers, and that I will remember to give back to worthy causes in order to make our world a better place for everyone.


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