How Do Lottery Winners Spend Their Millions?

Every time there is a big lottery jackpot, we dream about what we’d do with all those millions. We can’t help ourselves, it’s the ultimate fantasy to win more money by buying one lottery ticket than 99.99% of people would make by working for the next 500 years. But if you won the lottery, how would you spend your fortune? Here how some of the top lottery winners spend their millions.

Money laundering

Don’t worry, this doesn’t involve criminal activity. A study done in 2012 by surveyed 50 lottery winners who took home a minimum cash prize of £1 million each. These lottery winners didn’t go out and immediately buy mansions and luxury cars, as would be expected. Most lottery winners’ first purchases were domestic in nature and quite low-cost. The first purchase made by £1 million National Lottery winner John Baxter was a pair of £10 slippers from Tesco for his wife. David Hendry celebrated his £4 million win this year by taking his family out to dinner at McDonald’s. 


The top five items winners bought within 10 days of winning the lottery:

  1. Washing machine
  2. Sofa
  3. iPad
  4. Handbag
  5. Sports clothes

The world is in your hands

In the same survey, it shows that the most popular holidays booked on lottery winners’ new iPads were to Spain, Egypt, and the Canary Islands. 27% of 3000 National Lottery millionaires surveyed chose to visit the US after hitting it big. However there have been notable lottery winners who have bucked the reasonable trend and gone on a world tour with their newly claimed lottery funds. Matt Myles won £1 million in the National Lottery’s EuroMillions Millionaire Maker raffle in 2014 at the age of 27. Even before the money was in his bank account, he flew to Indonesia to celebrate in style. With his taste for travel growing, he took his brother and best friend on a world tour to locations like Dubai, New York, Brazil, Thailand, Ibiza, and Italy. In less than eight months of travel, Myles estimates that he spent £72,000. He spent £7,000 in one night at Space, a luxury nightclub in Ibiza.


Making the world a better place

In February 2015, three winners split the $564 million Powerball jackpot. Amongst the three was Marie Holmes, a 26-year-old single mom in North Carolina. She took the lump-sum payment and after taxes had $87.9 million in the bank. She has said that she wants to donate much of the money to organizations involved with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects her 7-year-old son. Patrick Nowlin, a $19 million US Powerball winner, created a $2 million grant for the University of Wisconsin’s Children’s Diabetes Wing. Many lottery winners have donated to their places of worship, community, and family. Probably the most interesting lottery ‘charitable’ purchases was a set of breast implants bought by National Lottery winner Jane Cunningham for her 24-year-old daughter.


Bankrolling the good life

After the initial shock goes away, most lottery winners do end up making some pretty life-changing purchases. In a survey of 3,000 National Lottery winners, the average amount spent on new property was £900,000. The price of a winner’s new favourite car averages to a luxurious £46,116, with Audi being the most popular. Cars and mansions aren’t the only things on which lottery winners like to spend loads of money. Thea Bristow won £15 million in July 2004 and she has since pursued her many passions. She and her husband Paul love the Scouting movement and in 2005, they spent £500,000 chartering a jet and taking 56 scouts and 30 of their parents to Canada to go white-water rafting and see wildlife up close. Turning another hobby of hers into a job, she is now the director of Torquay United Football Club. Turning passions into reality is something Colin and Chris Weir are really great at making happen. The Scottish couple won the £161 million EuroMillions jackpot in 2011 and ever since have been donating their money to causes near and dear to them. They created The Weir Charitable Trust and have donated to numerous Scottish youth groups. Whether you agree or not, they also take their politics seriously; 79% of Yes Scotland funds were donated by the couple and they continue to be major financial supporters of the SNP.

Washing machines, nights in Ibiza, and Scottish politics – the life of a lottery millionaire can be extravagant and domestic at the same time. Would you spend your winnings differently?


Until Next Time… Charlotte x


Keep in touch: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Find my disclaimer


  1. It’s nice that so many people want to make the world a better place with their lottery winnings. I know I would treat all of my family and friends if I won the lottery. x

  2. I always dream of winning the lottery! I would buy myself a new range rover because it’s without a doubt my dream car! I would split the money with my close family and donate it to a number of charities 🙂 Great post, I really enjoyed reading it!

    – KVL xo

  3. great that some people want to spend their money to make the world the better place. interesting post!