Why Winning the Lottery will not Increase your Happiness



I had an interesting conversation with my hairdresser yesterday.  We were talking about what we would do if we won the lottery…

I told him, “I would promptly quit my job and never work again!”

He replied, “Yea, I might take a month off.”

“Wait.  Hold the phone.  A month?!”

“Well, I would get bored at home and I like the social interaction with different people here.”

Talk about making you stop and think.  Really?  Was he serious?

Two things immediately came to mind.  He really found the perfect career for him.  And I really didn’t.

So I went home a little disheartened and did what I always do:  research.

First, science makes it apparent that an increase in income (particularly in 1 big lump sum of money) does not increase your happiness.  There was a study of 18,000 adults over 9 years that showed that an increase in income didn’t increase life satisfaction at all, but a decrease in income resulted in decreased life satisfaction.  This of course implies that financial stability may be more important than financial gain.  Another study demonstrated that individualism is a much stronger predictor of happiness than wealth.  A third study stated once you have enough money to meet your basic needs, more money doesn’t increase your well-being.  A 4th study showed as you increase your work hours (to pursue financial gain), your happiness decreases simultaneously (even if you make more money). In fact, when compared with an increase in wealth, individualism and personality growth performed way better on the happiness scale.  Turns out, you are much better off fostering personality growth rather than monetary growth.

So that fancy car and mansion on the beach won’t give you happiness?  Nope.

Winning the lottery and pursuing expensive hobbies and traveling across the world won’t make you happy?  Nope.


I have a job.  A job I do for money.  Some people have careers:  a job they do for advancement and achievement.  Some people have a calling:  something they would do even if they didn’t get paid.

I have a job.

My hairdresser has a calling.


I might need to re-think this nurse thing (and this playing-the-lottery thing). Life is too short to spend all your time doing something you “tolerate.”  Going back to my favorite life motto:

Do more of what you love,

Less of what you tolerate,

and none of what you hate.

I might need to take some of my own advice on this one.  What about you?  What do you think about money & happiness?  Do you agree with what the research suggests?  Do you work for a paycheck or for a passion?  Are you still going to buy lottery tickets?  Do you think millions of dollars would increase your happiness?

I am interested to hear your thoughts.



P.S. (A few articles for your review)

Happiness not linked to increase in income:

Happiness linked to positive personality changes:

Individualism is a stronger predictor of well being than wealth:


3 thoughts on “Why Winning the Lottery will not Increase your Happiness

  1. Talor Green says:

    I love this! I obviously don’t get paid to watch my kids but I am so blessed that I get to do that. I know when Eli got his recent promotion he was so excited, albeit I was too, because he got a raise but he was bummed to leave the field as a welder/pipe fitter and sit in an office as a Project Manager. That’s what he loves to do and although he hates traveling away from the boys and I he loved the different places he got to go. He definitely used to work and do it because he loved it and now it seems he does it for a paycheck and I feel guilty. I love seeing the boys grow. Seeing the new things they do every single day. I also love Posh because I love the product. I’m not pushy with selling because I don’t really care if I get paid. It’s definitely a plus but I don’t do it for that!
    Anyways I love this post and I love you. Mormons can’t play the lottery but that doesn’t mean I haven’t dreamt of winning it and thought of what I would buy with the money. Weird to think money isn’t everything huh? Since we live in a world where money seems to show how much you matter.

    • lizgracerendon says:

      Yes! Thank you for your comment! We have the same struggles also! So does everyone! That’s why I created this blog: to talk honestly about our personal struggles and finding our path to fulfillment and happiness. Because it is all about the journey not the destination. I struggle with the balance between work and staying home with P. Anthony struggles with making more money vs doing something that offers more time at home for family. Sometimes I feel guilty when I stay home 2 days a week and Anthony has to work 5 days a week. Sometimes I feel guilty for working at all. For not making enough money. For not working enough. We all tend to think “if we just had more money things would be easier” – but that isn’t always the case. I also enjoy the Posh business and I have always loved blogging. Do more of what you love! Right?! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Tish says:

    Oh how I l love this ! I agree , as much as I love love love being a nurse , I would give it up in a minute, if I won the lottery tomorrow ! Fuck working ! Travel the world , see things , meet people , hear languages I didn’t know existed ! That would be my new love . The adventures would be limitless and my happiness would only grow bigger ❤️

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