Mother holds protest after her son wins the lottery

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Mother holds protest after her son wins the lottery

When Mr. Kim won the lottery late last month and instantly went from rags to riches with nearly 3 billion won ($2.7 million), his life-changing story was told by none other than his own mother. Unlike most other winners who wish to keep their profile as low-key as possible, and who often urge their close family members to do the same, the 79-year-old woman refused to follow the norm and is now gaining media attention for the “tragedy” that has unfolded ever since.

She held a demonstration last Friday in front of the Yangsan City Hall in South Gyeongsang, holding a large picket sign describing how her own son became her worst enemy.

She wrote that her son “abandoned” her after winning the lottery, and that she felt betrayed because she had raised his children. Last week, when she knocked on the door of his house, he refused to meet her and called the cops to force her away.

A picture of her solo rally has gone viral online over the weekend.

On July 23, Kim won the lottery and claimed a little over 2.7 billion won after paying 1.3 billion won in taxes. He had been living alone in Paju, Gyeonggi, shifting between various manual labor jobs after getting divorced. He had a son and a daughter from his previous marriage.

His mother lives in a two-bedroom house in Yangsan, 251 miles southeast of Paju, and has been paying 200,000 won in monthly rent on top of a 5 million won deposit.

The family feud unraveled when he and his siblings, one older and three younger sisters, all gathered one day to discuss their mother’s future and how they would care for her. Kim’s sisters urged him to take full responsibility now that he had the financial resources to do so. Kim wanted to send her to a nursery for senior adults. The talks went nowhere.

Kim later bought two apartments in Yangsan and started avoiding his mother and sisters, refusing to pick up their calls or telling them he had moved into town. When his family finally found out his whereabouts last week and knocked on his door Friday morning, they were blocked from stepping inside and told to leave.

When they refused to go unless they met with him, Kim called the police.

BY HWANG SUN-YOON [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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