Winning the Lottery: The Key to Lifelong Happiness?

Will Winning the Lottery Make You Happier?

What’s the key to happiness in life? Philosophers, smart people, and ordinary people like you and us have struggled to find the answer. Is it love? Is it a good career that’s rewarding and satisfying? Is it a lot of money? Or is it all of the above?

Many people believe that money is the key to happiness and what’s a more natural way to come in possession than winning the lottery?

So by following this logic, we can conclude that winning the lottery is the key to that “happily ever after.” But is this so? Or is a piece still missing from the puzzle? Could happiness be hidden in something as simple as knowing the winning lottery numbers? Luckily, it has the answer, and we’re about to dive into all of the research. Take a deep breath, and let’s go!

Lottery, Happiness, and Science

Winning the lottery does make you happier. That’s what a new study has to say on the topic.

The results announced in late September 2019 are the result of the extensive work of two European economists. They analyzed numerous cases of lottery winners in Germany and outlined the results in an academic publication.

The researchers found out that winning the lottery does contribute to higher levels of happiness. People increase their satisfaction level both in terms of income and overall life quality.

This is one of the first studies to establish such a link. Previous scientific work established whatsoever no connection between winning the lottery and a higher level of life satisfaction. Some of the earlier studies concluded that winning the lottery actually brings down happiness and could also contribute to lower physical health (yikes!). Those findings were especially true for people who, before winning the lottery, had a low income.

According to the authors of the new research, previous work on the topic was very limited due to the small sample sizes. Anyone who understands clinical research and analytical work knows that big sample size is incredibly essential for a study to be accurate and representative of large population samples.

The authors of the newest study started with a set of 617 lottery winners in Germany. Eventually, they narrowed the sample down to the 342 people who had won the most significant amounts. A much bigger sample was achieved than in the case of some older studies that only took a look at 20 or so lottery winners.

A Complicated Relationship between Money and Happiness

While the new research is pretty optimistic about the power of winning lottery numbers, the relationship between money and happiness has always been incredibly complicated.

One earlier study shows that emotional happiness does increase for those who have money. The benefits, however, are experienced to a certain threshold of earning. The optimal amount for happiness has been set at 75,000 dollars per year. For people who make 95,000 dollars or more per year, emotional satisfaction and happiness begin to decline.

Additional studies are confirming the fact that wealthy people aren’t happier than their poorer counterparts. Many millionaires have been proven to believe they need to earn more money to be happier. One study found out that only 13 percent of millionaires can openly and honestly describe themselves as happy people.

But these studies aren’t representative of all millionaires, and they can’t account for how people make money.

So don’t take this information for granted. It’s more or less a general guideline that shows one very simple and very logical thing – money doesn’t always make you happy. It’s the way you generate this money and the way you use it that can affect your emotional stability and your satisfaction level.

The Initial Euphoria and What You Do with the Money After

Winning the lottery is going to contribute to a momentary state of euphoria.

That’s a normal part of being a human.

You stood against impossible odds, and you beat them. You got lucky, even though the math says it’s nearly impossible to accomplish such a feat. The sense of victory is going to be powerful, and it will carry you through for some time.

What matters from that point forward, however, is what you do with the money.

There’s a thing called the curse of the lottery millionaire.

Many people who came in quick possession of millions without an actual plan or a strategy ended up much worse than before. They almost immediately spent vast sums on superficial things – drugs, plastic surgeries, expensive properties, yachts, motorbikes, and luxury cars. Eventually, however, the money will end, and the lavish lifestyle will become impossible to maintain. As a result, many lottery winners have declared bankruptcy. Some have gotten divorced, some have become estranged from their kids, and some have even committed suicide.

On the other end of the spectrum are the lottery winners who have a plan.

These people invest some of the money, give to charities, and help support their families and their local community. While they may dedicate some of the funds to a lavish trip or to pampering themselves, they have a long-term goal in mind.

Such people can achieve a high level of satisfaction. They don’t see the money and the luxury as an end goal, they see it as a means to achieve a dream.

If you adopt the right attitude and you get lucky, you can change your life for the better by winning the lottery. The money, however, isn’t a quick fix for your troubles and for the things that are making you unhappy. If you view it as such, you will probably fail to reap all of the benefits that this opportunity brings to the table.

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