Winning the Lottery is bad for you

While most of us dream of that elusive lottery win to take away all our problems it seems that research this week shows that winning the lottery is bad for you. In fact this research shows that a lottery win can actually shorten your life. It also seems the bigger the prize, the bigger the risk and living the high life and all the temptations that go with the cash is not as good for us as you may think.

The study in question, analysed the behaviour of 8,000 people who won big cash lottery prizes between 1994 and 2004 – the first ten years of the UK National Lottery – it would seem that the wealth of opportunities for parties and social drinking and the availability of alcohol and other things that are detrimental to health can lead to serious long-term health problems and even death.

uk lotto UK National Lottery (UK)
uk lotto UK National Lottery (Outside UK)

The research did show that winning the lottery does indeed improve a person’s mental health but it also showed that those who in more, smoke more and engage in more activities such as social drinking.

It’s always been thought that higher income levels are linked with better health and this study does fly in the face of this, although it could just be the instant wealth that people find hard to cope with.

When you win a big prize, you don’t change as a person and that can mean that a sudden windfall can actually worsen existing problems. Money can also lull you into the false sense of security that you will be able to pay your way out of health problems by going to the best doctors but this certainly isn’t the case.

The findings will be presented in a study this week along with case studies of several lottery winners who were brought misery by their sudden wealth.

It just goes to show that whether you are playing the UK Lottery or something further afield like the Mega Millions Lottery, whether you win £1 million or $100 million it doesn’t change the person and you still have to be sensible and look after your health.

Article Published: Monday 6th July 2009 12:12 PM GMT
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