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 pixmania.com 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.

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Did you buy a Mega Millions ticket?

pretty face surrounded by dollars

The Mega Millions jackpot is nearing $600 million. Yes, that’s a staggering number, and many of us will go out and buy at least one. Have you done so yet? It’s frankly fun to listen to people talk about this. You have those that really get kick out of fantasizing about that they would do with the prize money. Then there are the buzzkills who want to point out the obvious fact that winning is practically impossible as the odds are ridiculous. And of course they’re missing the point.

The idea of sudden winnings and riches is a thrill for most people, so just let us have our damn fun. We want to fanatsize about spending the money, just like we would blow the $1,000 we win in Vegas on strippers and more. We might be smart with our money most of the time, but cash money in Vegas is another thing entirely. That’s one of many reasons people gamble, whether it’s buying a lottery ticket at real casinos or in our pajamas playing 49s. It’s the thrill. So of course it’s not practical, and we all pitty the few fools who become addicted or spend their food money on lotto tickets, but their stupidity shouldn’t ruin the fun for the rest of us.

And then you have stories like of Tom Crist, a retired Canadian man who decided to create a foundation with his $40-million lottery prize and donate all the money to cancer charities. Of course his case is special in that he was a successful businessman and he and his family were set financially. But the notion of giving is also a powerful one. Frankly this notion ends up dooming many lottery winners who get suckered into all sorts of scams. But it’s also refreshing to see a man like this give real consideration to the thought of helping other people, and trying to do it in a way that minimized attention to himself.

So grab a ticket and enjoy the ride. And if this reminder helps you win, remember we’ll happily take a small cut!

  

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