How Good is Winning the Lottery?

On 12 February 2010, Nigel Page and Justine Laycock of Gloucestershire found they had won £56 million on the European lottery. Nigel reacted by saying “I’ve jumped out of a plane at 12000 feet but that’s nothing compared to how I’m feeling now!”

Players of the UK lottery draw often dream about how their lives would change should they win the top prize. The question arises: does it really make your life better?

Mark Gardiner won £11 million on the British National Lottery in 1995. He embraced the publicity the win afforded him and subsequently loaned out or spent his winnings. His generous habits got him into difficulties with many of his friends and family. Looking back, Mark says: “The trouble isn’t the money, it’s what the money brings along with it. It enabled me to get rid of a box of problems, but it just gets replaced by a posher box of even bigger problems.”

Winners find difficulties with having no money one day to too much money the following day. The promoters of the British National Lottery, Camelot, have devised a system to advise such winners. The winners’ advisor for Camelot, Dot Renshaw, says she warns winners not to make decisions too quickly. A sensible approach is to take a holiday straight away to let the win and the alteration in their lives sink in. Camelot will arrange for a group of professionals, such as bankers, financial advisors and lawyers, to give advice on the winners’ best approach. Few people are able to handle such large amounts of money alone.

Publicity tends to be one of the biggest challenges to lottery winners. They now have the opportunity to stay anonymous should they wish. Indeed the Press Complaints Commission have set out strong guidelines to protect such individuals from the damage fame can bring.

Camelot even have staff on hand who are able to reply to begging letters for the winners. Previous winners are also available as mentors to new winners and events are arranged where those in a similar situation can meet up.

As a result of all the previous experiences and work on the part of the National Lottery team, scooping the jackpot can now be a much more controlled and pleasurable event. Marketing research company, Ipsos Mori, have conducted a series of studies with past winners. Their results show that nine out of ten of the winners who were previously married were still with the same partner and the same number had kept their original friends. It may have more to do with the character of the people concerned, but 55% of the winners consulted felt they were happier after the win.

A more recent poll examined the cars purchased by winners and showed a surprisingly conservative trend. The top four brands of car favoured by jackpot winners were Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mini and Vauxhall.

2300 millionaires have emerged from the UK lottery draw since it’s inception in 1994 and it is obvious the winners get more support than ever before. If winners take the support and advice offered they stand to enjoy their good fortune more. Mark Gardiner is finding his story has a happy ending too. He is about to remarry his first wife.

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