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How People's Lives Changed After They Won The Lottery

Reddit user PurposeNearby4121 asked: 'People who know someone who won the lottery, how did they change?

Person counting $100 U.S. bills
Viacheslav Bublyk/Unsplash

Coming into a sizable amount of money unexpectedly can change lives significantly for the better.

A whole world of convenience and luxury can open up to people who previously haven't been financially comfortable, and that can also have a major effect on their psyche.

And it's their friends and family who seem to notice this.

Curious to hear from those who've witnessed this firsthand, Redditor PurposeNearby4121 asked:

"People who know someone who won the lottery, how did they change?"

There are many positives.

Affording Time For Studying

"Girl that was jumping from one sh**ty job to another. Did win not a massive amount but enough to be able to study 2-3 years without having to work. Was able to land a good job and nice paycheck thanks to her studies, so basically changed her life for better."

– Vali_3

Personal Growth

"He bought a house, got sober, and invested a bunch of time into hobbies. He went from being a good guy to a great guy. Super proud of him."

– LilTrumpWiener

"Studies have shown (well, specifically rodent studies, but it applies) that substance use is associated with boredom and unhappiness. A lone mouse in an empty cage consistently picked cocaine-laced water over regular water every time, but mice in a massive, high enrichment, community enclosure almost never picked the drugged water (repeated, of course, not just one trial)."

"Having the money and choosing to build up your housing and food stability, hobbies, social life, and environment (as opposed to doing short-term, high gratification things, like buying fancy cars or, well, doing more drugs) can easily make it so that you simply have no desire to be intoxicated. Why get drunk to have fun when your life is already plenty of fun sober?"

– BirdsongBossMusic

The Boss' Prediction

"I worked with a lady who was two cubicles down from me. She would buy the lottery religiously, and one Friday, our boss said to her, 'I'll laugh you win the $55 million and come in on Monday and quit.' Well…. She sure did. She was the first solo winner in my city and she quit Monday morning… she and her husband didn’t change much. They just remodelled their home and continue to live simple lives. Both are retired. She was 42 when she won. This was about 10 years ago now."

– Boujie_Assassin

No More Retail

"I worked in retail with a woman who won just over $1 mil in the US in 1998. She got laid off from her job as a checker the very next day. The HR lady said she had never seen someone so happy being laid off, and this was about 20 days before Christmas."

"She became a stay-at-home mom and her husband, who was working at 7-11 and absolutely loved to talk to people, took his dream job - selling cars. I saw him about 8 years age and he said they still lived in the same house and he was still selling cars for the same dealership."

– cleanuponaisleone

Life changes in a flash.

Back To Zero

"They bought a big house, went on loads of vacations, years later had to sell the house and downsize. In the end spent every last penny."

– scarlettceleste

"This is my nightmare. I'm not bad with money, and you get money like that, it's relatively easy to grow, even if you don't know what to do. Imagine winning millions and then one day sitting around and going "Man, remember when I was rich?" would absolutely kill me inside.

– Crazyhates

Romantic Upgrade

"She divorced her husband, a baggage handler for American Airlines if I recall, and married a rich flashy Cuban guy."

"But she did split the prize with her first husband."

– watchingbigbrother63

Ethical Detour

"Won two million dollars and paid off their debt, plus made a few large purchases. Friends, relatives, churches, and charities found out and asked for loans and handouts."

"Eventually, the money ran out, and they ended up stealing a bit from some organization they were the treasurer of because they wanted to chase that high again. I can't remember if they did jail time or just did community service but they had to sell some things and ended up only slightly better off than they were before winning the lottery."

– cobalt_phantom

Mother Nature's Plan

"My friend's aunt and uncle won Cash 4 Life. Less than a year after winning, their house was hit by a tornado. They rebuilt, much larger than the original build. They didn't change, but their home did."

– Totally_man

The Downside

"My sibling's childhood friends' parents won $1k a week for life in the early ’80s. It was hell for them, they were already the “rich” relatives to both their families. In reality they were upper middle class. They sold their house and essentially went into hiding for over 4 years, their relatives were absolutely RELENTLESS in trying to track them down to get their share."

"It was terrible, their kids 14f, 10m had to be pulled out of school, the family eventually modified their last name to be untraceable. I came home from school one day to a carload of their relatives waiting to talk to my brother about his friends whereabouts, it was frightening."

"Luckily our neighbors intervened and made them leave. My brother was hiding in the house. He recognized them and had ducked down the alley to the back of our house."

"We barely saw his friend after that; I think they moved to a larger city on the East Coast."

– Texan2020katza

Payout Misconception

"A friend’s mom won in like 1989. This was before you could take the lump sum. After taxes her payout was $37,000/yr for 25 years. She quit her job, thinking she’d be rich, but didn’t realize she was making less than her job paid, and ended up going back to work a few years later because of insurance etc."

– dustomatic75

Promising Start

"Coworker won 250k on a scratch-it. He ended up with 170k. He bought a house and a used car, then took his kids to Disneyland. Then the story gets weird."

"He wanted to move to a different state, so he sold his house and moved into a "value inn" in that new state. Then he proceeded to never find a house. Spent ALL the money living in a garbage hotel. He had some pretty big problems that just seemed to get worse. Eventually his mother passed away, so he moved back to his home state to live in his mother's old house."

– am_with_stupid

Others are just selfless and improve the lives of others.

Looking Out For Community

"A guy I went to high school with won the lottery in his early thirties. He bought the low-income housing block he grew up in and his mother still lived in, completely renovated it, and kept it low income housing."

"I don’t know what else he did with the money, but he changed a lot of families’ lives for the better with that one purchase."

– Elegant-Pressure-290

"I love that so much. That's also what I fantasize about doing - I won't have children and I grew up solidly middle class but with great financial stability from my parents which allowed me to explore so many things. I would love to provide that stability for someone else, or ideally a lot of someone's."

"My parents believe very strongly in improving your small corner of the world - my dad worked full time and my mom volunteered full time once we were in school between several PTOs, a 311/suicide hotline in my area, and a few other worthy causes. They support a few families in our extended family who have profoundly disabled children. They've rescued several women from DV situations and set them up in much better lives. They've taken in 6 or so young adults and helped them dramatically improve their lives. I hope I can live up to their legacy."

– waterfountain_bidet

Wise Winner

"My friend's aunt won about 800k (which can be a generational-change sum if managed correctly), she gave her immediate family 1k each (about 15 persons), paid her and her husbands student loans in full, all of her debt and house mortgage and decided to invest the rest, she still works at a school as a head teacher and my friend tells me that her mentality is something like "what easy comes, easy goes" so she doesn't spend the money lavishly."

– ribozomes

Lottery winners have luck on their side.

But having lots of money doesn't mean they're good at managing their newfound fortune.

There's nothing wrong with indulging yourself with some of your jackpot winnings, but it would be wise to manage your spending so you don't go back to square one after going on a shopping frenzy.

How would you allocate your wealth?