Time is running out to buy your ticket for today's Mega Millions lottery. The jackpot has topped $1 billion, officially making it the second highest jackpot ever and the highest ever Mega Millions jackpot. And according to researchers, the winner might gain in ways beyond just mere money.
A recent study finds that those who win big cash prizes won't see a change in their day-to-day happiness, but could feel a boost in their life satisfaction overall. In fact, this satisfaction could last for at least 10 years and might not dissipate over time. And contrary to popular belief, these winners aren't actually likely to blow through their financial windfalls.
The study, led by researchers out the Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm University and New York University, was circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research as a working paper earlier this year. "Large-prize winners experience sustained increases in overall life satisfaction that persist for over a decade and show no evidence of dissipating with time," the researchers concluded.
As lead researcher Robert Ostling explained to MarketWatch, "life satisfaction" refers to how people feel about the quality of their lives overall, whereas "happiness" measures respondents' day-to-day feelings. "Our results suggest it is more difficult to affect happiness than life satisfaction," Ostling added.