Wipe your tears with hundred dollars bills, baby. From memes to snarky commentary, variations of that joke can be heard very often when people are commenting on rich people having problems, alluding to the fact that all should be well when you are a person of means. But, is that really true, can money bring you happiness? And subsequently, can lottery money bring you happiness?
Will Lottery Money Solve Your Life?
Sure, we’ve all heard sad and dramatic stories about lottery winners who blew their chances for happiness after they’ve won that lottery money, but that is not really the topic here. Here we are talking about that age-old question: can all of your problems really be solved (as you firmly believe) with suddenly having big amounts of money?
It’s pretty simple, psychology says, but the answer might surprise you. The jury’s been out on this one for a very long time, but as we are more and more consumed with capitalism, newer studies are more and more inclined to conclude that (lottery) money really can buy us happiness.
Andrew J. Oswald and Rainer Winkelmann debunked older studies that claimed big life events, like winning lottery money, doesn’t change the overall happiness for people. On the contrary, newer studies showed people who win the lottery “go on eventually to exhibit significantly better psychological health”, but Oswald and Winkelmann went even further and decided to conduct their own study, stating that all of the previous ones were done without enough data.
They’ve based their analyses on 342 lottery winners (for example, one of the previous studies used only 22) and concluded that the simpler (and much less romantic) answer is actually true: sudden money really does impact your overall happiness and in a good way.
Yep, Sorry to Say, Happiness Increases With Money
One other study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also confirmed that people are overall more satisfied with life (aka happier) when they have more money. Even more so, happiness increases linearly with reported income and has a steady rise. There are several factors that contribute to that feeling.
The first one is increased comfort: the more money you have the more stuff that “reduce your suffering” you can buy. The second would be having more control. Having control, the study finds, also means an increase in happiness levels. The third one is not applicable to all, but it has an impact nevertheless, and that is: money matters. That basically means that for those study participants who cared about money (and not all of them did), it had a significant impact on the way they perceived their own well-being.
So there you go, what are you waiting for? Go get your happiness today, play here.