Updated Wednesday, April 16, 2014 as of 9:38 PM ET
Suddenly Wealthy
by: Scott Schutte
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Way back when, a windfall was nothing more than a pile of sticks. The word actually comes from an 18th-century law that allowed American settlers to collect only the wood blown to the ground by the wind. Anything cut down was the property of the English monarchy. When strong winds felled trees, the settlers had an opportunity to build for the future.

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