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Monday, November 15, 1999 Published at 02:35 GMT


You can buy happiness - Camelot

The Lottery has created 866 millionaires in five years

Money has brought happiness to more than half of all National Lottery winners, according to the first survey of its kind published by Camelot.

The National Lottery operator released the findings to coincide with the game's fifth birthday this week.

National Lottery - five years on
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Winning loses its gloss
The rise, fall and rise of Camelot
Whose ‘good causes’ are they anyway?
Since its launch five years ago the lottery has created 866 millionaires.

Camelot will celebrate the anniversary with a £20m Superdraw on Saturday.

For the specially commissioned survey, Mori questioned 249 players who had won at least £50,000 on the lottery, 111 of whom had scooped more than £1m.

The BBC's Nick Higham reports on the impact of the National Lottery
The survey found 55% of those surveyed said they were happier now than before their win, while the majority of the others claimed winning the lottery had not affected their levels of happiness as they were happy before they won.

Just 2% of respondents said the win had made them less happy.

[ image: Gary Ashmore gave up his job after winning £1.6m]
Gary Ashmore gave up his job after winning £1.6m
But the happiness of winners is not affected by the size of their prize, with those winning £50 to £250,000 just as likely to be happy as those who have won more than £1m.

The majority of those questioned (67%) said they had not experienced any negative effects on family life or friendships following their win.

Ninety-five per cent remained married to their partner and all those who were unmarried but living with a partner prior to their win are still in the same relationship.

But it appears the happiness of those nearest and dearest to a jackpot winner does depend on the size of their win.

A higher proportion of winners of £250,000 or more state their family is happier (58%) compared with those who have won less than this amount (37%).

Men more generous than women

Some 83% of winners said they had given some of their money to their family.

Of these two-thirds had given money to siblings, 57% to their children and 51% to their parents.

Men appear to be more generous with their winnings than women.

On average men had given money to three friends compared with one for women.

Men also gave larger amounts with, on average, the largest single amount for men £147,000 compared with £60,000 for women.

Stingy southerners

Winners from Scotland and the north of England gave away the most to friends, averaging £228,000 and £173,000 respectively.

This compares with £66,000 in the Midlands and £17,000 in the South.

The largest single amount of money given away by one winner was £3m.

About a quarter (24%) of all winners socialise with other winners while this rises to half for winners of more than £2m.

[ image: A special draw is planned for the millennium]
A special draw is planned for the millennium
The lives of many lottery winners have changed significantly.

Aside from large purchases - such as cars, homes and holidays - other changes include increased contributions to charity for 40% and going on holiday abroad for the first time for 19%.

Just under 40% of winners have moved house since their win.

A third of all winners said they had gained weight since their win but only 12% had joined a health club.

Most winners 'working class'

Half of those who were in regular work before their win are still in the same job although this falls to 27% for winners of £2m or more.

Of those who have started a new job (15%) since their win about half have started their own business.

Despite scooping the jackpot people's perception of their social class or political persuasion remains stable.

Of those who won more than £2m, 52% considered themselves to be working class.

About nine out of 10 winners still play the lottery every week (88%) while just 2% have stopped playing altogether.

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