How Does Winning The Biggest Lottery Prize In History Affect A Person?


There are numerous studies on what happens to lottery winners after winning a considerable amount of money After an American nurse won $758 million in the Powerball drawing, the debate about whether winning the lottery brings happiness or not gained even more strength. Her name was Mavis Wanczyk, and her prize became the largest ever awarded in lottery history to a single person.

Most of those who play the lottery do so thinking about a better life without problems. Mavis bought a Powerball ticket for just that purpose, and found out that she had matched all the numbers on the night of the drawing. Her feelings became a mixture of excitement and nervousness, so she decided to take a few weeks to consult with financial advisors.

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Given this situation, some researchers stated that the prize would bring new responsibilities and pressures to the winner, based on the fact that money does not buy happiness. Others, on her part, clarified that if she had a clear idea of ​​what happiness means to her, a financial injection into her bank account would not really harm her.

Mavis left her job at the hospital and, just a few weeks later, opted to receive the prize in a lump sum, after taxes were deducted. Then, she assured that her dream had “come true.” In the following days, her name appeared in all the media, and the garden of her house was full of security measures, as a preventive measure.

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The concern he may have felt at that moment was eclipsed by the joy of the award, as the experts stated. About whether she would find happiness or not, Studies appeal to the concept of “hedonic adaptation,” which is the tendency of people to be “always dissatisfied.” and always need something more to feel happy.

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In 2008, a study carried out on lottery winners in the Netherlands concluded that, indeed, those who brought in more money felt happier However, as time went by, they returned to feeling like they did at the beginning, since, once their needs were met, they once again set their goals at higher rates. In Mavis’ case, she chose to stay out of the media spotlight, and try to manage her fortune responsibly. Others, however, could not or did not want to do the same. The most extreme case, and luckily an exception, is that of Jack Wittaker, an American who wasted his $90 million on unnecessary luxuries that did not help him be happy (quite the opposite).

The way in which winning a big lottery prize affects each person depends, therefore, on the person themselves.