Does Winning The Lottery Improve Happiness?
Recently, scientists have speculated that winning the lottery will improve the way you look at life. This is against the decades of evidence that have stated otherwise.
Scientists say winning the lottery does make people feel better about life. However, this is against decades of evidence that suggest otherwise.
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. He is 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 about their well-being between five and 22 years after the lottery drawing. Happiness was the measure in this study. This included 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.