The statistics have been published to mark the UK National Lottery making its 5,000th millionaire. Camelot's National Lottery Millionaire Report shows that 53% have preferred to spend their money on experiences, while 39% have favoured possessions and 8% have split their money equally between the two.
A helicopter ride has proved to be the most popular experience, with 21% of winners saying they have used some of the money to go on a chopper. A visit to Disney World (20%) and swimming with dolphins (19%) have also been high up on many lucky players’ to-do lists, while other winners have gone to see the Northern Lights, travelled to the Grand Canyon and even gone to Lapland.
Among the purchases which winners like to indulge in are Range Rovers, hot tubs and jewellery, but the report also highlighted some of the less traditional first items to be bought after a lottery windfall. Rather than look to spend their newfound wealth on a new car or pay off some bills, one winner revealed they had purchased a cheese grater before anything else. Another winner bought dog biscuits, someone else a five-foot ‘Shaun the Sheep’ model and one player opted for some pet lambs ahead of any of other purchase.
Budgie Cages, Snake Tanks and Dog Baskets
The report also revealed that winners had kept their tickets safe in all sorts of bizarre places, including a budgie cage, under a flower pot, under a snake tank and in a dog basket.
There were some common themes among the winners, though, with 98% saying they had given some money as a gift to other family members. An impressive 57% said they had made their child or children millionaires, and 47% of winners reported that giving money to loved ones or charity had given them more happiness from their win than anything else, including purchases and retirement.
Andy Carter, the National Lottery’s Senior Winners’ Advisor, said: “After the shock and excitement, nearly all winners' first question is how they can look after their nearest and dearest. In many cases this seems to bring the winners even greater joy than thinking about how they can treat themselves.”
The 5,000th Millionaires Kept Ticket in Handbag For a Week
The 5,000th millionaires to be created by the UK National Lottery were revealed to be David and Donna Stickley from Slough. The happy couple recently came forward to claim the fabulous £21 million Lotto jackpot they had won on Saturday 12th May, and they told officials that they had been oblivious to their good fortune for a week.
Donna had kept the winning ticket in her handbag without checking it, until she stumbled across it on a shopping trip and called her husband ‘all in a tizz’. David recalled: “She said, ‘I’ve checked on the internet and I think we may have won £2m but it just doesn't look right’. I told her to go and double check again as things like this don't happen to people like us. She sent me a text with the amount on it from the internet but she had read the amount wrong - it wasn’t £2m, it was £21m.”
David and Donna plan to spend some of their money on a honeymoon after getting married in March. They also want a new luxury sports car and to take care of elderly relatives, but have made it clear that they see themselves as ‘normal people’ and ‘do not want dramatic change’.
Whether you would like to follow the example of the Stickleys and keep life relatively normal, or spend your cash in extravagant ways like some of the 5,000 National Lottery millionaires, you can try to become a big winner yourself by taking part in exciting games such as Lotto and EuroMillions at the Lottery Tickets page.