Brits buy lottery tickets to boost mood and feel happier – not to win millions, study suggests
Most people make that last-minute lottery purchase at the checkout in the hope that lady luck is on their side – but for others buying a ticket makes them feel good.
A recent study has revealed that people who buy a lottery ticket were found to be happier in the hours that followed.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences carried out a series of tests to explore the motivations behind purchasing lottery tickets.
In one test, participants were given a scratch card worth £5 and told they could win up to £2million and to return in five days to check.
Meanwhile, another group were told to come back to claim £5 in cash.
They found that the cash group returned to claim their money, but 42 percent of participants with the tickets did not.
In the UK, more than £100million in lottery wins have been unclaimed in the past year alone, the researchers have claimed.
Another experiment found that happiness improved by 20 percent after getting a lottery ticket.
Players were also found to be more likely to buy a ticket when they were feeling down.
This research suggests that people try their luck for “not only money, but improved mood ”, they explained.
Researcher Dr Shu Li wrote in the journal Cognition and Emotion: “What lottery players want is not the tangible money that can make their dreams come true but rather a good mood accompanied by daydreaming.
“If what people want is a good mood and a daydream, the fact that many lottery winnings go unclaimed begins to become understandable.”