The chance of an improved lifestyle is probably the most obvious benefit of a lottery windfall, but a recent survey of the voting preferences of lottery winners has revealed some startling results. The figures show a big win can result in a shift of political allegiance.
The study was a joint venture between the UK's Warwick University and their counterpart in Melbourne, Australia; and the figures show a sudden influx of lottery cash can often cause even the staunchest left-wing voter to suddenly do an about face and vote Conservative.
The research included an analysis of 4,000 British citizens who won up to £20,000 on the UK National Lottery, and also took into account data gathered by household panel surveys conducted between 1996 and 2009. A staggering 45% of people who won prizes of £500 or more admitted they subsequently began supporting right-wing parties.
The data also reveals the change in political bias often happens fast, with 18% of winners making an immediate switch to the Conservatives—a party that is commonly believed to represent the interests of the rich.
Professor Nattavudh Powdthavee from Melbourne University said it was unclear if the change in political preference resulted from deep held ethical opinions, or was motivated by self-interest.
"The amount won in the lottery is completely randomized," Powdthavee pointed out, "but we saw that the more you won, the more right-leaning you become." He then speculated this may suggest the winner's new affluence may sway them towards right-wing ideas like lower taxes.