Thursday, September 27, 2012

A lotto dreams: 64 percent of Americans say they would still live frugally if they won the lottery

A lotto dreams: 64 percent of Americans say they would still live frugally if they won the lottery

Compiled by Michael De Groote, Deseret News
Published: Tuesday, Sept. 25 2012 6:00 a.m. MDT

Imagine for a moment that you won the lottery. A new survey by says 64 percent of U.S. adults say they would "be extremely or very likely to continue to live frugally" and 55 percent would "still be extremely or very likely to use coupons."

The coupon response is probably a comfort to should a sudden rash of lottery winners overtake the nation.

These hypothetical lottery winners say they would still shop at discount and dollar stores (53 percent), only buy things on sale (51 percent) and more than a third say they would continue to work at their current jobs (36 percent).

The Daily Dose on MSN Living said, "It's a hypothetical decision about a wildly hypothetical windfall, but maybe the long-lagging economy has had an impact on the way Americans think about lavish spending."

Lavish spending may just not be in, even for hypothetical winners buying hypothetical deals at the dollar store. But the survey gave a "random sampling" of some of the splurges the frugal winners might indulge in:

Build a homeless shelter.
Pay for medical procedures that my insurance won't cover.
Establish a charitable foundation.
Set up college funds for my children and grandchildren.
Get a divorce.
Get rid of my student debt.
Find a job that I really want to do, rather than work at a place I can't stand just to earn a paycheck.
Endow a scholarship at my college.
Buy my parents a home closer to me so I can take care of them.
Donate 10 percent to my church.
Make over my home and hire a maid.
Get prescriptions that I can't currently afford.
Hire a hairdresser and masseuse daily and have a chauffeur.
Take my family to Disney World.
Open an orphanage.
Nobody wants to buy a Ferrari?

But, as pointed out, the survey didn't specify how big the hypothetical lottery jackpot was. So it is possible people are not imagining that much money.

The oddest thing about the survey, however, may be the underlying assumption that somebody who plays the lottery would have a frugal mindset in the first place. Can a person be frugal and spend money on something with lottery odds?

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