In a piece written for The New Yorker in 2010, screenwriter Nora Ephron, of When Harry met Sally fame, wrote about a mysterious and long-promised inheritance that she dreamed might just change her life.

“I’ll have what she’s having.” Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal perform Nora Ephron’s best-known scene at Katz’s Deli in New York.

Ephron had an Uncle Hal and Aunt Eleanor on her mother’s side who had amassed a real estate fortune but had no children of their own.  Hal lost Eleanor in 1974 and Ephron’s own mother Phoebe had passed away in 1971. Both widowers, Ephron’s father Henry and Hal maintained regular contact and Henry would often tell Ephron that Hal’s entire fortune, “big bucks” as he called it, was coming to her and her three sisters.

Ephron dismissed the notion that she would inherit her Uncle’s money as fanciful but when a sudden and serious bout of pneumonia put Hal in hospital in 1987, her father was proved right. To find out just how Hal’s money contributed to her success, read Ephron’s full account in The New Yorker.