What do Lottery winners really do with the money?

Lawnmowers, slippers, Butlins: the odd things lottery winners say they will splash out on

happy girl holding fan of cash...

Last month a couple in Southampton picked up £1 million on the National Lottery Raffle. When asked at the press conference what they would spend the money on, they answered that they'd needed a lawnmower for ages and had been putting that off, so they'd be able to pick one up at the weekend.

It's an unexpectedly modest answer, but they're not the first lottery winners to reveal lowly plans for the cash. Back in June last year, a grandfather from Truro picked up £13.5 million and said his first purchase would be a family holiday for the summer - to Butlins in Minehead.

Six months earlier, a grandmother from Teeside scooped £7.5 million on the lottery and said she'd like to buy a poodle, and back in 2013, a £1 million winner from Baldock said the only thing he'd bought before the press conference was a pair of slippers for his wife - for £9.99.

Why so modest?

There are a few factors at play here. The first is that these answers make nice headlines, so at the press conference, winners will be asked about the small items they have purchased. We only tend to read about the ones who come up with something colourful - so there are plenty of people out there who didn't say they were yearning for a new set of spoons and a cardigan.

The second factor is that many lottery winners really do start with small ambitions, because they are still adjusting. Some will take a while to believe they are millionaires. Others still have their priorities from their life before - so their spending ambitions start with the things they wanted most before the win. Someone who has been putting off buying a lawnmower, for example, isn't going to immediately splash out on a designer suit. Their first thought will be 'oh good I can get that lawnmower now.'

The third is that they are following sensible advice. Camelot advisers will tell winners not to make any hasty and extravagant purchases. They suggest they go on holiday and use the time to mull over any expensive spending they might have planned. It's the sensible thing to do if they are going to avoid wasting a fortune on things they don't need.

What next?

Most will make the adjustment to their new budget fairly quickly. When pressed, the Southampton couple said they'd also be buying a conservatory, a Southampton FC season ticket, a new car, and holidays to the Caribbean and Australia.

A study by Camelot found that winners soon started to think bigger - spending £2.72 billion on their home; £2.125 billion on investments to produce an income; £1.65 billion on investments for children, and £68 million on large items like cars and holidays.

Others take longer to adjust. One couple who we recently revealed were taking their time are Gerry and Lisa Cannings from Deeping St James in Lincolnshire. They won an incredible £32 million on the National Lottery on Valentines Day this year, but in May were still living in the same house and driving the same Skoda.

But what do you think? What would you buy if you won the lottery? Let us know in the comments.

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Biggest UK lottery winners

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