Would You Still Work If You Won Big in the Lottery?


Lots of people say they would continue to work after they won the big stakes in Powerball, but really, would they continue to work at the jobs they hold?

Just managing their own money seems like a full-time job.

The recent winner of Powerball's single largest jackpot, Mavis Wanczyk, took the cash prize. It totaled $363 million-plus. That's after the $144 million she had to pay out in federal and state taxes, and the $319 million take kept by Powerball (after all, the lottery exists to pay for state programs).

Wanczyk's accountant is surely loving her right now, but her boss not so much. Wanczyk, 53, had worked 32 years at the same job. She told her boss forget about seeing her show back up. She was not coming back.

Little public polling has been done about the lottery, seeing that asking what someone would do is a largely hypothetical question. But Gallup has asked a few times whether people would give up work if they won $10 million in the lottery. A majority consistently say yes, with 68 percent in 2013 saying they would keep their jobs. Similar questions from other polling companies have been asked over the years and the numbers are consistent.

What to make of it?

Whatever their motivation for working, most workers are generally satisfied with their jobs. In Gallup’s latest survey of employed people’s satisfaction with various aspects of their jobs, more than nine in ten workers are satisfied with the safety of their workplaces, their relations with coworkers, the flexibility of their hours, and their job security. Around eight in ten are satisfied with the amount of work required of them, their bosses, the recognition they receive at work, the amount of vacation time they get, and the amount of money they earn. In the poll, around two-thirds were satisfied with the amount of on the job stress, their retirement plans, and their health insurance. The high levels of satisfaction in 2017 were very similar to responses from past years.

It's great that Americans value work. It means we see value in living productive lives. But still, you have to ask yourself:

Would you give up your job if you won the lottery?

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

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