First spending choices for lottery winners are surprising

stacks of 100 bills

When we buy a lottery ticket, what’s the first thing you think about spending that huge cash prize on if you happened to have the lucky numbers?
Many of us imagine that we’d be booking exotic holidays or buying luxury cars, a beach house, that kind of thing. But, in fact, it seems that most lottery winners are actually quite practically-minded when it comes to first purchases with a lottery win.

In a survey by in 2012, winners who had won a minimum of $1 million were asked what three purchases they had made in the first ten days of winning the lottery draw. A surprising number bought what you might think were mediocre or, frankly, dull items with their windfalls.
A quarter of respondents made a new washing machine their first purchase, and the second most purchased item was a new sofa for the living room. An iPad came in as the third most popular – with 17% of respondents buying one. Fourth place went to a new handbag, and in fifth place, sports clothing was another popular purchase.

Household appliances in general made the top twenty list of early purchases, things like TVs, fridge freezers and vacuum cleaners. Surprisingly, few people spent their money on weird and wonderful gadgets that most of us can never afford. For example, no-one bought a pool table that has a 1965 Mustang as its base (yes, they exist), or a self-powered Hammacher Schelmmer suitcase that helps you up the slopes when you’re travelling at a maximum of 3 miles per hour, a snip at $1300.

According to a psychologist who analysed the survey results, there’s a period of adjustment that most lottery winners go through when they first have their win. Although they now have the means to buy what they want, they aren’t psychologically ready to spend big amounts of money. That feeling, though, doesn’t tend to last.

If you’re wondering what the strangest things people would buy when winning the lottery are, there are always some examples. A recent survey by Lottoland, an internet site where you can buy lotto tickets for six different lotteries including Powerball, Euromillions, Irish Lotto and MegaMillions, gave us some weird and wonderful insights into the British psyche when it comes to spending prize money. From the 500 people surveyed, there came a few very odd wish-list items. These included buying a gravestone, re-turfing the lawn, spending the cash in McDonalds and buying more lotto tickets.

If you’re reading this and know what you would do with your win, there’s only one thing to do. Buy a ticket for your favourite lottery and start drawing up that spending list!