i Editor's Letter: If you strike gold, you should probably tell your wife


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I feel that I ought to find the story of the two brothers who waited for six years before claiming their $5m lottery win rather touching.

Andy and Nayel Ashkar came forward only 11 days before their prize would have expired, according to the New York Lottery.

It was Andy Ashkar, 34, who bought the ticket, at his parents' convenience store in Syracuse in 2006. When he realised he'd won, he decided to share the winnings with his older brother, Nayel, 36.

Lottery officials said he waited so long to claim his prize because he was concerned the money might "negatively influence" his life. He was engaged, and about to be married, and he felt the windfall might affect that.

Well, that's rather sweet, you might argue. He wanted, in other words, to make sure his future wife loved him for himself rather than his dosh. But it doesn't say much for his attitude to her.

How would you feel if your spouse announced he or she had kept something of this magnitude from you, while at the same time letting their sibling in on the secret? You'd probably wonder what else they had to hide.

The bit I find most disquieting, however, is the idea that the brothers had the self-control to keep a lottery win to themselves for six whole years. Who on earth does that? I couldn't even keep the plot developments of last Sunday's Downton Abbey to myself, thus thoroughly annoying the friends who hadn't got round to watching their recorded versions.

If I'd won $5m, it would have taken about five minutes for me to blurt out: "Hey, guess what!" But then I like to think I'm ... normal?

Stefano Hatfield is away

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