Would winning the lottery make you happier? – Raj Raghunathan


Will winning the lottery make you happier? Imagine winning a multi-million dollar
lottery tomorrow. If you’re like many of us,
you’d be ecstatic, unable to believe your good luck. But would that joy still be there
a few years later? Maybe not. A famous study of 22 lottery winners
showed that months after winning, their average reported levels of happiness
had increased no more than that of a control group
who hadn’t won the lottery. Some were actually unhappier
than they had been before winning. And later studies have confirmed that
our emotional well-being, how often and how intensely
we feel things like joy, sorrow, anxiety, or anger, don’t seem to improve with wealth
or status beyond a certain point. This has to do with a phenomenon
known as hedonic adaptation, or the hedonic treadmill. It describes our tendency to adapt
to new situations to maintain a stable
emotional equilibrium. When it comes to feeling happy, most of us seem to have a base level that
stays more or less constant throughout our existence. Of course, the novelty of better food, superior vacations, and more beautiful homes can at first make you feel like you’re
walking on air, but as you get used to those things, you revert to your
default emotional state. That might sound pretty gloomy, but hedonic adaptation makes us
less emotionally sensitive to any kind of change, including negative ones. The study with the lottery winners also looked at people who had suffered
an accident that left them paralyzed. When asked several months after
their accidents how happy they were, they reported levels of happiness
approaching their original baseline. So while the hedonic treadmill may
inhibit our enjoyment of positive changes, it seems to also enable our resilience
in recovering from adversity. There are other reasons
that winning the lottery may not make us happier in the long run. It can be difficult to manage
large sums of money, and some lottery winners wind up
spending or losing it all quickly. It can also be socially isolating. Some winners experience a deluge of
unwelcome requests for money, so they wind up cutting themselves off
from others. And wealth may actually make us meaner. In one study, participants played
a rigged game of monopoly where the experimenters made
some players rich quickly. The wealthy players started
patronizing the poorer players and hogging the snacks
they were meant to share. But just because a huge influx of cash isn’t guaranteed to bring
joy into your life doesn’t mean that money
can never make us happier. Findings show that we adapt to extrinsic
and material things, like a new car or a bigger house, much faster than we do
to novel experiences, like visiting a new place
or learning a new skill. So by that reasoning, the more you spend money
on experiences rather than things, the happier you’d be. And there’s another way to turn
your money into happiness: spend it on other people. In one study, participants were
given some money and were either asked to spend it
on themselves or on someone else. Later that evening, researchers called up
these participants and asked them how happy they were. The happiness levels of those who had
spent the money on others were significantly greater than that
of those who had spent it on themselves. And that seems to be true
around the world. Another study examined the generosity
of over 200,000 people from 136 countries. In over 90% of these countries, people who donated tended to be happier
than those who didn’t. But this may all be easier said than done. Let’s say a million dollars
falls into your lap tomorrow. What do you do with it?

100 thoughts on “Would winning the lottery make you happier? – Raj Raghunathan”

  1. Just move to a average size house for my family and a smaller one for myself
    Then just save the rest just incase something happens
    Then forget about the money except for important stuff that will get you the money
    Then live a normal life
    So yeah
    Fun times.

  2. happiness is not meant to be something we 'remain' in. Happy is not synonymous with content. Happy is a reward feeling, and does not sustain for long periods of time. We've just become far too used to blurring happiness with contentedness.. Content, is a much more sustainable feeling to exist in, and money…can most definitely assist in making that happen.

  3. If I won a multimillion dollar lottery I’d give half to charity, pay off my car, put enough back to pay for the rest of college, buy a house, give my parents enough money to build a new home and pay off their car, put about 1000 each in a savings account to accumulate interest for my sister cousins and a few separate accounts for kids I may have, pay for my wedding and honeymoon, give about 1000 each to my boyfriends family and my family members, furnish my new home and if there is anything left save it. I absolutely would not quit my job or buy anything too expensive, just upgrade necessities and take care of the people I love.

  4. Money can't buy happiness but it can make life easier for you and that will make you happy. You will be able to achieve your dreams a little faster with money and help your loved ones achieve theirs and that is happiness. So I would say money gives you a better opportunity to reach happiness

  5. Hire the best screenwriter team, best 3d design team, for a team with PSX/SNES fans. Create the next Final Fantasy game like a man. Win.

  6. Well, if I won a million dollars, I'd certainly buy and take care of the old horses people want to euthanise.

  7. To the people questioning the basic concept, I would say, the hedonic treadmill goes a long way towards explaining why the huge increases in wealth and living standards in the last few hundred years have not resulted in billions of very happy people. Compared to our ancestors, even poor people in the First World are well off. And yet, so many people are so miserable, rich, poor, middle class.

    In Asia, where living standards have often jumped from rice paddy farmers to modern suburbia in one generation, it has not produced societies of suddenly uproariously happy people. Instead, China's mad at the USA, India's mad at China, and they are having the same problems with depression, anxiety and suicide as we are.

  8. id put a half into a save investment vehicle, such as US treasuries or state bonds, and another half would distribute into different investment portfolios with various risk levels and returns. well, id also get a nice trip to New Zealand I have dreamed about for years

  9. Give me a million dollar only it's interest I will be happy that ever I will buy a quadcoptor ,a gaming pc ,shall be PS4 ,get a setup for my channel and then study and improve myself by by own with spending money not a time and increase my saving account by studying more and be a better person for the whole world

  10. The people who can afford a lottery ticket might not end up that much happier. But if you literally can't afford food and then suddenly can, it's a world of difference. This experiment in inherently flawed.

  11. 99% of people are unaware of these principles and as a consequence they run in the wrong direction for all their lives.

  12. If I won a million dollars I'd buy a house(luckily I live in a city where houses don't cost a million dollars like some other places I've been to), rent it so I have a investment and a steady income, then I'll go backpacking and bikepacking around the world. I've backpacked through Europe and I know how to manage money and live frugality. A little bit of money can last a long time if you know how to spend it

  13. With all these money, I wouldn't have to work.
    That alone would eliminate quite a significant level of stress from my life.

  14. Just like Michael Corleone said:

    This contempt for money is just another trick of the rich to keep the poor without it.

  15. It is haram. People give mıney to lottery and only one person wins while others lose. Haram never gives real happines.

  16. How is this report even accurate ? The result of winning lottery depends on individuals, you can't make it an average here. The real question is, did some lottery winners become happier ? And anyway, isn't a "spike of happiness" beneficial even if it goes back to normal ? It doesn't make it pointless.

  17. If I win a million dollars I would give $200,000 to others then wait a couple years until my $800,000 are worth more than 8 billion dollars then give that money to charity

  18. The 1.16 Billion price in lottery in the Philippines has already been won on Oct. 14, 2018. Goodluck to your happiness.

  19. what would i do if one million dollars fell into my lap tomorrow? well, first off I'd invest it to make more money, hahahaha;

  20. As I’m only 15, I would probably hire an accountant to help me out, but I think I know what I would do with 1 million.

    500,000 (50%) to family/parents

    300,000 (30%) post-university savings

    10,000 (1%) on investments

    10,000 (1%) on donations to the NHS

    50,000 (5%) on travel (with family)

    100,000 (10%) on university savings.

    30,000 (3%) on spending.
    everything else I’m spending on myself is saved up so this is the money I would spend on things like new clothes etc.

    I’m still young so I don’t know if this would work, but I’d want to be generous and safe with my money.

  21. Emotions and money are two separate things. Also who in their right mind would show off that they won in the lottery? Asfor my part I would continue my life as usual. Because honestly I don't want to deal with leachers that just want to hang out with me for my money.

  22. I would give half to one of my best friends, the other half to my other best friend. Then I would tell them, “this better go to your wedding”, and hug them both. 🏳️‍🌈

  23. I think winning the lottery would make you happier as long as you don't change your lifestyle drastically. You'd be naive to really think that being able to pay off all your debts/loans and not have to worry about money anymore, wouldn't make you happier. You'd be less stressed and can concentrate on the things that make you happy (other than work). Of course, if you're too impulsive, uneducated, not very intelligent, or lack a basis of logic and common sense, I can see how winning the lottery can make you unhappy.

  24. Initially it obviously would. What the aftermath is afterwards means the difference. I think we all would like to try for ourselves.

  25. "emotional wellbeing … don't seem to improve with wealth or status beyond a certain point" Exactly. This is why we need communism so noone is beyond that point
    (Although that last statement was sarcastic, i think this is why insurance has demand — it makes sure that you don't go beyond that point if some accident happens)

  26. If a large of money falls into my lap?

    Well, of course first I'm going to save it on my bank account then give it to my parents, and just take a little amount for myself to spend on things I want and date with my "guy". Or simply use the money for my incoming college. It's funny to think about winning a lottery, but if in a normal situation, for ME I will rather choose to work and work to gain money because if you gained something due to sheer hardwork, the more you will value your things than the money that you just picked up, gave or have won. Why? Because you didn't even move a muscle and then poof MONEY! But, I'll still grab that opportunity because I will benefit from it XD

  27. As if money can buy happiness and love tho only health can buy happiness and love if u know what i mean.

  28. i would go to my dream university leinn international and get experience and try to change the world by giving positive impact ^^

  29. It’s far better to give than it is to receive. That’s why those people in the study felt happier when they spent their money on other people.

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