Lottery winner splashes out - on a pair of slippers


John and Carol Baxter

The National Lottery has announced its latest big winner: John Baxter from Baldock. He won £1 million on the Millionaire Raffle last Tuesday and decided to celebrate in style, by buying his wife a pair of £9.99 slippers from Tesco.

So how does this measure up as a first purchase?


The National Lottery released details of Baxter's big extravagance on its Twitter feed.

The Daily Mail added that after a triple heart bypass a few years ago, the 63-year-old was glad to see a bit of luck coming his way, but he wasn't going to get carried away. He said he bought the slippers because he couldn't think of anything else he really needed.

Further glamorous purchases are expected to include a stainless steel sink, which his wife Carol has 'always wanted'. He told the newspaper that he wouldn't move house because they have only just got their home looking how they want it, and that they'd still go on holiday to Great Yarmouth because they like it.

Mrs Baxter added that: "Money doesn't buy happiness and we are very happy just as we are, this is just incredible luck which we hope to share with our family."

Other first purchases

It seems like a refreshingly down-to-earth approach. However, contrary to popular belief, this is the sort of attitude displayed by most lottery winners. It's only the rare few who rush out to buy a flash car and a bath full of champagne.

A survey by last year researched the first three purchases made by 50 lottery winners just after winning the lottery. The most common first purchase is a washing machine, at an average cost of £300. This is presumably because it's more money than most people have left at the end of the month, and it can dramatically change the quality of your life if you're used to slogging down to the laundrette a couple of times a week.

The second purchase is a sofa, and the third is an iPad - which is the one expensive luxury that creeps into the top of the list. Fourth is a handbag and fifth is a football shirt.


So why don't winners go mad? Middlesex University Principal Lecturer in Psychology Mark Coulson says: "However much we might dream of winning the lottery, very few people actually believe it will ever happen to them. Although the extravagant items are now financially affordable, they are not yet psychologically affordable as they exist in an unfamiliar world - the world of the rich."

It seems, therefore that people first buy the things that they have been missing in their life - like a pair of slippers and a sink. It's only at that point that they may start to think bigger.

What next?

Of course, the Baxters may stick by their guns, and not let the money change them. They have said they want to use the cash to help their family, which means the money could do a lot of good for a larger number of people. The question is whether they find their heads turned as the months go by.

Roger Griffiths, who won £1.8m on the National Lottery, said his ambitions increased as time went by. He told Pixmania: "When we won it was such a huge amount of money we didn't really know really where to start spending or what to do with it – the first thing I bought was four pairs of trainers. People have expectations of lottery winners that they just go out and spend, spend, spend but it really wasn't the case with us in the beginning – though we have made up for it since though!"

But what do you think? What's the first thing you'd buy if you won the lottery, and would you let it change your lifestyle? Let us know in the comments.

The top 20 first items purchased after a lottery win:

1. Washing machine
2. Sofa
3. iPad
4. Handbag
5. Sports clothes
6. Footwear (shoes / trainers)
7. Games console (Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and XBox)
8. Vaccum cleaner
9. Make-up
10. High street fashion clothing
11. TV (average size 42")
12. Jewellery
13. Laptop
14. Fridge / freezer
15. Holiday (Spain, Egypt and Canary Islands)
16. Garden furniture
17. Kitchen utensils
18. Carpet
19. Sound system
20. Luggage

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