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If you won the lottery, would you keep working your 9 to 5?

Couple wins the lottery. Source: Getty

It’s the million dollar question (literally): If you’re lucky enough to pocket a jackpot, would you keep your 9 to 5, or quit the next day?

In March, a Victorian man banked almost $50 million after he accidentally purchased two Oz Lotto tickets with the same numbers, and told News.com.au he would think about retiring.

A Mackay tradie who won the $5.1 million Keno prize said he too would think about retiring, and was definitely pulling a sickie the next day.

Yesterday’s Oz Lotto jackpotted to a whopping $30 million after it was unclaimed for four straight weeks, and Yahoo Finance polled its readers to find out if they pocketed the jackpot, whether they’d still work, or quit.

Unsurprisingly, most of you said you’d quit.

A huge 74 per cent of you said you’d drop your 9 to 5, while just 26 per cent of you said you’d keep working.

One person said he’d quit, tell his siblings to quit, and make his top three closest friends quit.

But, in an unpopular opinion, one Yahoo Finance member strongly said she’d keep working, because money can’t buy you your career goal.

She pointed out that you need connections and experience to get there, so while the cash injection would be good, it probably wouldn’t be enough of a reason to quit her job.

What does science tell us to do?

Shockingly, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

In fact, a 1978 psychology study found that a year after hitting the jackpot, lottery winners are only slightly more happy than paraplegics a year after losing the use of their legs.

And, lottery winners were only minutely happier than the controls in that study, which were regular people.

Why?

What this study found is that humans suffer from chronic dissatisfaction, or more scientifically, “hedonic adaptation”, which basically means people get used to pleasure, and it’s no longer pleasurable.

So, we know the novelty of winning, or the happiness it will bring us, is going to wear off in a least 12 months.

Which means we should keep working, right?

Earlier this year a Sydney woman pocketed Powerball’s $107 million jackpot, but said she wouldn’t be retiring from her healthcare job, according to the ABC.

In fact, she said it would drive her to do more health work for causes important to her.

So, while she might let go of her 9 to 5, it won’t stop her from pursuing other good causes.

Last year, a construction worker won a whopping $202 million (US$140 million) after hitting the jackpot in New York, but he turned up to work the next day and said he had no plans to quit his job any time soon.

He simply told the New York Post he “liked working”.

If you’re lucky enough to win, what would you do?

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