Interesting study

License to dream: Does winning the lottery make you happy?

14.05.2024 21:37

"Money doesn't make you happy" is a common saying. However, worldwide studies contradict this assertion. If you take a closer look at the results of the respective studies, it becomes clear that there is a difference between happiness and satisfaction. Lottoland, a global pioneer in the field of online lotteries, summarizes the recipes for happiness that have been investigated.

Everyone knows it. The discussion about whether money makes you happy or not. It is discussed in families, in public and in the end, opinions differ. But figures don't lie. They provide crystal-clear evidence of how money influences our happiness in the long term.

Financial security and stability
It's all about financial security and stability as well as being able to spend money on valuable experiences. Numerous studies from various countries around the world, with an observation period of several decades, all point in this direction. This is because people's desires, motivations, needs and dreams of a good life prove to be the same everywhere.

Although there is less to be won in the classic lottery, the chance of hitting the jackpot is greater. (Bild: Krone KREATIV)
Although there is less to be won in the classic lottery, the chance of hitting the jackpot is greater.

Study reveals optimism among players
When lottery players buy a lottery ticket with their hard-earned money, they do so in the hope of buying a piece of their dream. An expensive vacation, to pay off the loan on their apartment or to buy their children a home. This is what the European umbrella organization for lotteries found out. The representative household survey shows that happy people play the lottery more often.

The dream of winning a million-dollar jackpot, but also wanting to give something back to society, are the main motives. "It is an interesting detail that lottery players state that they are generally more satisfied than others. This is probably due to the fact that they are more hopeful and optimistic about the future," says Lottoland's Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs Laura Pearson.

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It's an interesting detail that lottery players say they are generally happier than others. This is probably due to the fact that they are more hopeful and optimistic about the future.

Laura Pearson, Lottolands Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs

How the feeling of happiness and unhappiness aligns
The silent enemy is called adaptability. One of the main reasons why the purchase of multiple and even long-awaited material things does not make you happier is the so-called adaptation process. Surely everyone knows the feeling of eagerly waiting for the moment when you can finally buy the item you want. Regardless of whether it's a new smartphone, clothes or a car - the once great joy caused by the purchase itself fades quite quickly. The new item no longer satisfies us over time.

(Bild:, AFP/Philippe Huguen, Krone KREATIV)

A study by American psychologists Philip Brickman, Dan Coates and Ronnie Janoff-Bulman from 1978 shows that winning the lottery itself triggers a temporary feeling of happiness. Feelings of happiness and unhappiness return to a normal level after a certain period of time. This is known as hedonistic adaptation because it is a self-healing mechanism for people to regain their balance. Sooner or later, according to the researchers' theory, people get used to everything they experience. However, studies on playing the lottery show the opposite.

The pendulum of happiness
A study by the Swedish Research Institute of Industrial Economics came to a clear conclusion after twenty years of observing lottery winners: even after decades, the lucky ones are still happier than before they won. On a scale of 1 to 10, Swedes give their life satisfaction an average of around 7.2, while the long-term average for those who have won at least half a million euros in the lottery is 7.6.

Higher winnings bring even greater satisfaction. In addition, the lucky winners live longer than the average population - even if the scientists offer no explanation for this. "The figures show that lottery is a ritualized game that is always associated with big dreams. That's why we're delighted to play our part in making these dreams come true," says Laura Pearson.

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