A British man wasn’t sure if a woman he had started to see was attracted to him because he had won a major British lottery, so he wore shabby clothes, drove a wreck and took his date, Lisa Johnson, on cheap dates.
Then they got engaged and Joe revealed the truth: having been stung by other women, he’d concealed his £10 million lottery ($16.5 million, in U.S. dollars) fortune from her.
Lisa Johnson treasures a ring given to her by husband Joe even though it is unremarkable, with a tiny stone.
It was her Christmas present during their first heady months of dating, and when he presented it to her, she was thrilled.
“I could see Joe didn’t have a lot of money,” she said. “So for him to spend what little he had on such a thoughtful gift was lovely. It meant the world to me ” it still does.”
Ten months later, when Joe proposed, she tearfully accepted. It was only once they were engaged that he told her he had a secret.
Lisa says: “When he first told me the truth, I was furious. Our whole life together had been a lie.”
“I thought he was a struggling divorce who could only afford to take me to cheap noodle bars and Beefeater restaurants. Suddenly, he was telling me he could afford anything he wanted. It felt like a betrayal.
‘It was only when he explained how badly he’d been hurt before, by women who just wanted his money, that I started to realize why he’d gone to such lengths to hide his fortune from me. Now we are married, I’m relieved that he did lie. Because there is a 23-year age gap between us, people sometimes look at me and think I’m after his money,” Johnson said.
“But I can say with complete honesty that I fell in love with a man who I believed had nothing.”
“I forced myself to carry on deceiving Lisa because I wanted to ask her to marry me, and I had to know for sure that she was saying yes for the right reason,” Joe Johnson said.
“Joe told me he was a printer and I simply assumed he didn’t earn much. But he was generous in spirit, a kind man who made me feel special when we were together.”
Within three months, companionship turned into romance.
But unbeknown to Lisa, Joe had won £10 million on the National Lottery back in 1998 and owned a wardrobe of designer clothes.
Far from going to work every day after his breakfast at the cafe, he was off to check on his investments.
He was also falling in love, but begged family and friends not to let Lisa know about his secret money.
Joe says:”‘In many ways, winning the Lottery had been one of the loneliest things that had ever happened to me. I met a couple of women after winning my fortune, but they were more interested in my money than me.”
She says: “We saw each other twice a day at the cafe where I worked and went out two or three times a week, splitting our time between my home and the house he was “looking after”, and I realized it was only when I was with this softly spoken man that I felt alive.”
In September 2001, as they sat together one evening, Joe proposed. Lisa says: ‘I didn’t hesitate. I just threw my arms around him and said yes.
“I remember telling him that we wouldn’t have much money, but I was happy to carry on working. I just wanted us to be together.
“‘I was thrilled and excited and my son Alfie, who adored Joe, was happy too. I felt that after years of being alone, I could be a wife and mother once more. I imagined us in a small three-bedroom house, all happy together.”
In fact, a week later, Joe told Lisa that he had some news. He says: “The previous few months had been agony, because I loved Lisa so much and I was lying to her every single day. When she came home from work exhausted, all I wanted to do was tell her she didn’t have to go back.”
What a lovely story. Thanks to my friend Jon in the U.K. for telling me about it, as the story first appeared in the Daily Mail newspaper.
GAMES WE PLAY:
The July 21 Mega Millions game has a jackpot of $34 million.
The July 22 Powerball game carries a $74 million jackpot.
And the July24 Euro Millions game has a 15 million euros jackpot.
Good luck, everyone.