Are Today's Lottery Winners Happier? Or Does Winning Ruin Their Life?

Waqas Mazhar seems happy enough with his $1 million New York Lottery win. But how does he fare later on?

The good news - most lottery winners are happier, have a better life balance and fewer worries than winners did even 5 years ago.

It's believed that is because there is better information on how lottery winners should spend their money. Financial planners and the lottery organisations themselves have also improved their support for winners.

But there are many other benefits that make for happier winners:

  • A Journal of Health Economics study of lottery winners in Britain found that the winners "go on eventually to exhibit significantly better psychological health." That means they have a more balanced and positive outlook.

  • A study of Florida lottery winners found that only 1% of the winners went bankrupt in any given year. That’s about twice the average rate for the population, but the study only looked at those winning less than $150,000. Good news for Big Winners... those in the study who won six-figure sums were far LESS likely to go bankrupt.
     
  • A study in Britain found that 44% of lottery winners spent their winnings after five years, yet the rest spent their winnings over a lifetime.
     
  • A study by University of California researchers found that the overall happiness levels of lottery winners spiked up when they won, but settled back down to pre-winning levels after a few months. So if people were generally happy before they won, they would return to natural level of happiness afterwards.