Does winning the lottery make you happier?

Posted by Karen Degen on 3rd November 2015

Tags: Happiness, Lotto, lottery, money

The most frequently-cited study on winning the lottery and happiness was published back in 1978 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Researchers interviewed Illinois State Lottery winners and compared them with non-winners and with people who had suffered a terrible accident that left them paraplegic or quadriplegic. Each group answered a series of questions aimed at measuring their happiness level.
The study found that the overall happiness levels of lottery winners spiked when they won, but returned to pre-winning levels after just a few months. In terms of overall happiness, the lottery winners were not significantly happier than the non-winners. The accident victims were slightly less happy, but not by much. The study showed that most people have a set level of happiness and that even after life-changing events, people tend to return to that set point.
What I do is change people s set point, so they can raise their happiness levels, no matter what is or isn t happening in their lives. Where is your set point?