We all dream of winning the big one and living the good life, but as Lotto prepares to celebrate 25 years with a promotion offering an extra $7.5 million in prizes, a survey shows Kiwis remain sensible.
Lotto surveyed its biggest winners and found 85 per cent stayed on in their jobs.
Others kept working, but changed jobs, with one winner saying: "I have been able to retire after 23 years in a stressful job. Got another paying less, but no stress!"
And don't believe it when someone says money can't buy happiness. More than half of Lotto's big winners reported being happier, and 17 per cent were more relaxed because of their financial security. But it can come at a price: "I notice I've put on weight as some major worries have gone," one said.
Four per cent of winners felt guilty about their luck, and 8 per cent said they lost friends or faced jealousy from others.
And chuck out those lucky numbers. Lucky Dip is the way to go, according to 73 per cent of those surveyed.
When the big win happens, most rush to tell their family. "My husband was by himself when he found out, so he went outside and picked up the dog and told her - funny sight and bewildered dog," one winner said. But 5 per cent kept their secret and have never told anyone.
A classy restaurant and champagne feature in celebrations, but so too do more modest tastes, including a celebratory breakfast at McDonald's and a big bag of chewy caramels.
And when it comes to splashing out, we are a sensible lot, with 52 per cent of winners paying the mortgage, buying a new house, or renovating.
A bit of luxury is not far behind, with travel and new cars the next most popular big spends. One winner had liposuction, then regretted it, another withdrew $10,000 in cash "just because I could".
Generosity shines through, with 64 per cent sharing their good fortune with family, and 52 per cent donating to charity.
And most think lady luck will strike again - 98 per cent still buy tickets.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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