It’s no secret that elderly people are often unhappy, usually because of their social lives and how they’re being treated by their families. Simply because of their age, they’re often underestimated for how much fun they can still be to have around.
To combat these issues, some elderly people have come up with very creative solutions, even awards systems for visiting them, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
After she won, Redditor Wild_Stick_5998’s grandfather revealed that he had been running a contest in secret all throughout the Christmas season, planning to reward the person who visited him the most often.
But when the rest of the family was angry for how they were treated in comparison to the Original Poster (OP), she wondered if she was wrong to accept the prize or if what her grandfather had done was actually wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for accepting the prize money for winning a game I didn’t know I was playing?”
The OP’s grandfather revealed a game he’d been playing throughout the Christmas season.
“So I (21 Female) went to my grandad’s (80 Male) 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 3,200 euros.”
“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 first of December 2023 to the 31st of December 2023, every time a member of the family visited him, he’d put 100 euros 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 he was doing this so that no one spent extra time with him to get the money.”
“I won his ‘game’ by 600 euros, so six hours more than the person who came second (my uncle).”
The OP felt conflicted about accepting the money.
“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 (fourth), 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.”
The family lashed out at the OP’s grandfather for his system.
“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.”
After receiving some initial feedback, the OP offered a few clarifications.
“Sorry I didn’t make this more clear: 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.”
“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.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some questioned the grandfather’s motivations and why he’d made up this game.
“I’m surprised so few people have an issue with grandpa trying to puppeteer his family. I make an effort to spend time with family, but if they started playing little games with me, I would stop visiting because I don’t enjoy being manipulated. Also, the family is upset that OP took the money because Grandpa isn’t flush so it doesn’t sound like they are all just greedy.”
“December is a particularly hectic month for me work-wise, so now if I visit more in January, it’s because I’m greedy? I’ll pass on all that and just stay home, to be honest.” – Mean-Impress2103
“Grandpa is the AH 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.” – smalltreesdreams
“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 got 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, by the way? I bet he wouldn’t appreciate it if the family started keeping score on him. It’s not fair that he did this, it’s 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. That doesn’t mean they don’t care.”
“Your family is 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
“Yeah, doing s**t like this indicates to me there’s a reason people are counting the hours they have to spend time with him. I doubt this is the first time grandpa has tried to manipulate the family dynamic with money… or that he hoped for his relationship with them to improve with money.”
“OP is NTA, but she is young and sounds young. Enjoy the money! But maybe don’t leap to judge the other parts of your family for not ‘winning.'” – Remarkable_Landscape
“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.” – ladyteruki
“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
Others reassured the OP that she had done nothing wrong in this game.
“NTA. Go spend some more time with Gramps. Make sure you tell him it’s free. He’ll be happy, and who knows it may pay dividends in the end.” – PerformanceHot9497
“NTA. From the perspective of a parent of adult kids, I would be proud of my 21 y/o who regularly visited their grandparents. Your mother’s reaction was selfish.” – lostdad75
“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 your visiting him meant.”
“Your family is just bitter because it’s a large amount. If your uncle, your mom, your aunt, or your cousin had received it, everyone else would be jealous of the person who 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.” – Okay_Government_4222
“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?” – bobofiddlesticks
“NTA, it’s his money he can do whatever he wants with it. If he chose to keep a tally of who spent time with him and then give them the money, that is his business.”
“You will probably not be able to get into his house again with all of your other family members in there all the time, trying to ‘win’ a jar of money. Relish the time you had with him and continue to see him when you can.” – dunitdocus
The subReddit reassured the OP that she was not the one who was in the wrong, especially since she had initially tried to reject the money, but the issue was somewhere amongst the family. Either the grandfather was looking for drama, making him the AH, or the family was spending as much quality time with him as he felt he needed, leading him to develop this rating system in the first place.