Ethical question: What would you do if...

I was in a meeting this week, and softdrinks were provided, and an ethical question came to mind:

What would you do if you were in a meeting (FIRST meeting, team meeting, someones house, sponsors facility…)

and you opened a bottle of soda (pop)

and happened to notice the inside of the cap said “Million dollar winner!”


I think we all know what the PC answer is, but what would you really do?

I’d be a millionaire.

I would probably choke, then say I was fine, and then I would say “excuse me for a moment” Then I’d leave the room and continue about 30 feet down the hall where I would then jump for joy. I would then leave the building and get into my automobile where I would burn all the rubber off the tires because I can do anything I want now that I am a millionare. I would then go home and spend hours upon hours figuring out what vehicles I should buy.

Oh, and I’d gladly reimburse whoever payed for the soda. :smiley:

Actually, I really don’t know. I might share. Maybe it would depend on who was there and how many people there were. I don’t really plan for these kind of things because they don’t happen to most people.

To me it depends on the place. At a team meeting, we have a soda machine which we pay money for the soda, so I would keep most of the money, and donate some to the team as a sponsor. At someones house, I would probably give up the cap, as I didn’t pay for the soda nor was it ever truly mine, and hope that they might share as I did give the cap back. At a sponsor’s facility, well again its like the team thing where if I bought it from a machine then I would keep it, but if it were provided, I am not quite sure what I would do and it would depend on the sponsor as well. But again very interesting question being posed here.

The first thing that would pop into my mind would be “Finally, I can help those little kids who are suffering as well as the homeless who deserve some help.”

… then I would buy a house (good enough for me and her) and 2 cars (that has very good gas mileage), and also get her a huge diamond ring and necklace set.

I’d sprint to the door, open it, then run to the car and drive away. And be a millionaire.

If it were at a team meeting, and they had paid for the soda, I’d give it to the team. Because a million dollar robotics team would be unstoppable. (step one, buy my own warehouse for the team to be in, then start buying nice CNC tools. woot!)

Depends on how personally the soda was given out. If it’s something like a regional and someone who works at the venue is handing out free drinks, I think it would make sense to keep it. If someone buys you a drink, then you should give them the cap.

Just to make sure everyone understands (Im not a lawyer but Im pretty sure Im right on this)

if someone gave you the bottle, or you purchased it from a machine, it is yours - and regarding the prize possesion is 100% of the law (providing you did not beat someone senseless then pry it from their fingers).

So legally the prize would be yours, to do with as you see fit (same as if you purchased the bottle yourself from a supermarket).

Ethically… thats another issue

i would probably yell out some obscene curse word out of surprise (what can i say im not perfect) and be like “you guys look at this!” and just freak out like crazy as far as the money is concerned half goes to me some to robotics and the rest to my family

step 1: place cap in pocket
step 2: grin heavily
step 3:wait until end of meeting to leave
step 4: verify I am actually a millionaire (there are alot of pranksters out there)
step 5: put money in bank account
step 6: Go to meeting next day act as if nothing happened and volunteer to buy the food and drinks. :smiley:

I’d go online to CD and blab it to the world, of course. :rolleyes:
I’d fund a new site for the team in a building for ourselves that isn’t tethered to the conditions of finacial wrangling that happens during corporate dealings.
I would also invest a good portion of it so it’ll last longer than a mere shopping spree.

Pay off debts.
10% to church
5% to each brother/sister & inlaw
Go back to work and continue on with a little less stress.


I found it, I should keep it. Lets say your using the team’s build facility (at a public area, like a high school) and find a $100 bill on the ground. Should you give the $100 to the team?

I’d most likely buy the team our own facility (I’d probably do this if I didn’t find it at the team meeting), splurge and spend about $50,000 and invest all the rest. Then I’d quit all my jobs and work solely on robotics stuff.

I believe you owe the federal government 27% of winnings, and from state to state it varies. In Connecticut its 4.5%, but I’d rather have $685,000 than a “FREE 20OZ COKE!”

One word-


In reality I would keep it. I have debt that I don’t want to live with for the next 20 or 30 years, and if anyone argues ethics with me for taking the chance to pay it off now then I’ll turn around and leave. I opened the bottle and I won. It’s mine. Mine mine mine.

The rest? Probably would go into mutual funds and maybe a trust fund for future Andy Jr.'s. A million dollars is a lot of money, but I don’t think it’s enough to just up and retire. I’d enjoy the rest of college and maybe even stick around for a masters. After that, having some money to draw on would make post college life a whole lot easier until I can start making my own.

But that’ll never happen. I only drink Root beer. Nobody wins millions drinking root beer.

-Andy A.

In most states finders-keepers is not in the lawbooks - if you find something that was apparently lost by accident you are obliged to report it one way or another.

The soda prize is different - the prize was not lost, it was purchased or given you to freely. Obviously the person who handed the bottle to you did not know it was worth a million dollars, but they may or may not have been aware of the contest/prize that was involved at the time.

I would stare at it in shock. That’s it. Really. I have no bloody idea what I would do afterwards.

Buy a small Caribbean country.