Study Finds Lottery Winners More Satisfied with Life, But No Happier on Day-to-Day Basis

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 7, 2018

A recent study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that people who win $100,000 or more in the lottery undergo sustained increases in life satisfaction lasting 10 years or more, but their day-to-day happiness levels remain largely unchanged, according to CNBC. Life satisfaction is differentiated from happiness as it's more about how we think about our lives in the big picture, versus how we're generally feeling. The study found that one of the biggest factors in this increase in life satisfaction came from improvements to one's economic condition, which reverberated for many years after the windfall. 

The results align very well with the results of another study from 2010 which found that while money can indeed increase someone's day-to-day happiness, the effects top out at around $75,000 a year. Similar to the more recent study, it found that even if sums higher than $75,000 don't lead to further happiness increases, they do produce higher amounts of life satisfaction. It's just that, when people's incomes are lower than that $75,000 threshold, they're more likely to experience financial stress, which can take a big chunk out of their day-to-day happiness. 

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