Is it really so wonderful to win the lottery?

So, the second of two EuroMillions winners from the UK has now come forward to claim the £45.5million they won in the latest draw.

And I can’t help but wonder, after obviously feeling ecstatic for at least a few days or weeks, just how much of a positive experience this will be for them.

Obviously I would only hope it will bring them the joy they would imagine, but there do seem to be an increasing amount of stories where this just doesn’t turn out to be the case.

It actually must be terrifying to win the lottery, especially with a jackpot as large as the one the latest two EuroMillions winners are going to adding to their bank accounts.

When it starts to sink in that this isn’t just a couple of hundred or even just a couple of thousand pounds, and the magnitude of what exactly a million, never mind, 45.5 million pounds really is, you must feel confused over what exactly to do with this.

And indeed, in practice it doesn’t seem to bring everyone a huge amount of happiness.

A win becomes a loss

There have been plenty of stories about people who win this massive sum of money and just can’t manage it properly. Before they know it, they’ve overspent and find themselves in debt or eventually bankrupt.

Yes, obviously on many fronts life would be a lot easier if we were suddenly handed millions of pounds simply for picking a few numbers.

But being given all of this money at once, with no experience of what exactly this money means and how easily it can then be spent can be just a little too much for many.

Your life as you once recognised it is taken from you before your very eyes. You’ve either got this dark secret in the bank which you’re terrified of making public. Or you’re terrified that because everyone knows your secret they are now out to get you.

In some cases, winners no longer even feel safe. It was reported in The Washington Post that one lottery winner in the US had the small problem of his brother hiring a contract murderer to kill him and his sixth wife.

You suddenly find yourself defined by this huge sum of money, even if only in your own head.

And I’m sure there are plenty of lottery winners out there whose winnings have brought them happiness, but I can’t help but wonder if these are the ones who won some of the smaller sums or who hired a financial adviser to help them manage their earnings.

The best advice I’ve heard is from Rich List compiler Philip Beresford. It was reported in the Daily Mail that he said of lottery winners; “If they’ve got any sense they’ll keep very, very quiet about it or go and live in Monaco, where they’ll just be one of 1,000-odd millionaires”.

Yes, it may be a bit of a depressing prospect to have to hide yourself away from your normal life in order to have a chance at enjoying your new one, but at least this way you won’t end up feeling like a walking target and you might stand a chance at feeling ‘normal’ in this very unnormal situation.

By Sophie Hudson

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