Connect with us


Lottery winners are happier than lottery losers, study says



lottery winners
Winning the lottery could be just as life-changing as
you imagine it would be.


  • Lottery
    winners in Sweden are more satisfied with life than those who
    lost the lottery, says a new study by scientists in Sweden and
    the US.
  • What’s more, that boost in satisfaction doesn’t fade
    over time, according to the study.
  • Previous studies have found that winning the lottery
    doesn’t ultimately change our life satisfaction or
  • It’s probably best to rely on things other than money —
    like close relationships — for health and happiness.

Social scientists spend a lot of time thinking about all the ways
your life might be different if you came into a massive fortune.
Not just about whether you’d be able to buy a fancy house and car
— but also about how you’d feel about your new
financial prowess.

Over the past few decades, multiple studies have suggested that
your day-to-day experience wouldn’t change much at all, and that
the excitement of striking gold would, eventually, wear off. But
a new
working paper
comes to a different conclusion, reporting that
winning the lottery, as compared to losing, really does lead to
greater life satisfaction.

The research was cited in
The New York Times
by Justin Wolfers, an economist who has
conducted other research on the link between income and life
satisfaction. The study hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed or
published in a scientific journal.

For the study, scientists in Sweden and the US surveyed 3,362
lottery players (winners and losers) about their well-being
between five and 22 years after the lottery drawing. Respondents
were asked about their happiness, overall life satisfaction,
mental health, and financial life satisfaction.

Results showed that winning the lottery had a positive effect on
all these outcomes — especially on life satisfaction. Most
interestingly, these effects didn’t dissipate over time, with the
exception of financial life-satisfaction.

It’s important to note that the study relied on surveys, meaning
there was no objective measure: Respondents themselves indicated
how satisfied they were with their lives. What’s more, other
research has yielded different conclusions.

Other studies have found that winning the lottery doesn’t
ultimately change our life satisfaction

Previous studies have found that winning the lottery doesn’t have
a significant effect on life satisfaction.

Business Insider’s
Kevin Loria reported
on two

that found lottery winners end up about as happy as
they were before their big win. That’s possibly due to a
phenomenon called hedonic adaptation, which means we have a set
point for happiness, and return to it even after major life
events like winning the lottery, Loria reported.

Meanwhile, other research suggests that the amount of money
required to be happy and satisfied with life (beyond just lottery
winnings) is surprisingly small. Business Insider’s
Jeremy Berke reported
on a study published in the journal
Nature Human Behavior, which found that, globally, the ideal
income for life satisfaction is about $95,000. For emotional
well-being, it’s roughly between $60,00 and $75,000.

If there’s a single takeaway here, it’s that you’d be unwise to
rely on money to make you happy or satisfied. After all, even if
you stand by these new findings, your chances of winning the
lottery are slim. Instead, focus on deepening relationships with
friends and family and getting some exercise —
old standbys
that most scientists agree are linked to health
and happiness.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job