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Money and Satisfaction

10/29/2020 - Avoiding Fraud & Enhancing Security, Financial Planners, Investing for Life

Young woman sitting on couch with computer on her lap smiles excitedly, pumping her fists in the air in celebration. Young woman sitting on couch with computer on her lap smiles excitedly, pumping her fists in the air in celebration.

Lotteries have become enormously popular in the United States. There is a widespread perception that many lottery winners burn through their newfound wealth rather quickly, and don’t end up better off in the long run.

Swedish researchers have examined this question more rigorously, in a manner akin to a randomized test of a drug’s efficacy. They surveyed winners of major prizes in the Swedish lottery as well as minor winners and lottery players who did not win, a total of 3,362 players. The surveys were taken from five to 22 years after the event. The findings are interesting.

  • Lottery winners were significantly more satisfied with their lives, and that extra satisfaction lasted for decades.
  • Those who won hundreds of thousands were measurably more satisfied than those who won tens of thousands.
  • The winners did not rapidly spend their winnings, and did not quit their jobs. They did tend to retire earlier.
  • Oddly, the researchers found that winning the lottery did not affect happiness. It is thought that questions about happiness go to mood or feelings, while questions on life satisfaction trigger more broadly based introspection.
  • Winning the lottery had no discernable affect on physical or mental health of the winners or their children.

So, although money can’t buy happiness, it can—at least in Sweden—buy satisfaction.

© 2020 M.A. Co. All rights reserved.
Any developments occurring after February 1, 2020, are not reflected in this article.

Content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of WesBanco.

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