Lottery wins don’t guarantee long-term wealth or good health
Published: January 26, 2009 | 7329th good news item since 2003
If you tend to be waiting for that Big Hit from the lottery which once and for all will fix your life, relieve you of daily work and stress, and generally make things wonderful so that your life can finally start — wait no more.
A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that lottery winners aren’t that much better off; not in health and not in wealth.
In his study Scott Hankins of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, compared big winners (50,000 – 150,000 dollars) with small winners (less than 10,000 dollar).
Initially the bankruptcy rate among the big winners was 50% lower than that of the small winners — but after about two years that rate jumped up.
In the end, averaging out the numbers, about 5% of either group went bankrupt in the next 5 years after their win.
As for health it was Andrew Clark and Benedicte Apouey of the Paris School of Economics who showed that the health of lottery winners tends to decline.
The “why” of that hasn’t been studied yet but one explanation could be that the winners party more; drinking and smoking more.
Either way, combined with earlier research that shows that once people’s basic daily needs are met through their income happiness does not increase as income goes up, I guess we can let go now and just start being happy right away :)