Most lottery winners choose to save money than squander it

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WASHINGTON - A new thesis shows that in most cases, lottery winners prefer to save up the money won than squandering it for short-term comforts.

“It’s common for people to say that ‘they are who they are’ as an explanation for why they do not change more,” said University of Gothenburg researcher Anna Hedenus.

She surveyed 420 Swedish lottery winners and interviewed 14 winners asking questions about the winners’ attitudes to work and leisure before and after the win, and about consumption and identity.

“Some people emphasise that two million Swedish kronor is not really that much money, and that it is not enough to cover for one’s living expenses for a longer period of time. But at the same time there is a setting of priorities in that assertion. Most of them prefer to save the money as security for the future rather than dramatically changing their lives during a shorter period,” says Hedenus.

The results have shown that only a minority of the winners have used their prize money to devote less time to work.

They also indicate that the higher the wins, the more people have, worked shorter hours or taken periods of leave. The study also confirms the picture of a societal standard governing work, where the choice of continuing to work is regarded as natural.

As far as consumption goes, on one hand, the winners aim to fulfil the expectations of being active consumers in a consumer society but on the other they are coloured by the ideal of thrift and by worries about spending their money on the “wrong” things or about their money running out.

The winners’ previous lifestyles and social environment therefore become important factors in deciding how they live their lives after their win.

Despite their cautious spending behaviours, the winners experience many positive consequences from their wins. In addition to experiencing happiness and gratitude, the money gives them an increased sense of security, freedom and independence. (ANI)

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