Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORK-LIFE BALANCE / APR. 03, 2014
version 7, draft 7

Most Americans Would Continue to Work after Winning the Lottery

I don't play the lottery, but if I came into millions, I can think of a thousand uses for the cash. Paying off my car and house top the list of things to do. And I would definitely travel more, help my family and give more charitable donations. But after careful consideration, I wouldn't quit working.

The truth is, I actually like what I do; and with money in the bank, I feel that my work would become even more enjoyable. As a freelance writer, I would have the freedom to pick and choose assignments according to interest, and a windfall would afford me the time and opportunity to take my craft to the next level -- perhaps write a novel or screenplay. 

I understand that some would submit their letter of resignation the moment they cashed their check, and then spend the remainder of their days shopping, vacationing and relaxing. But while the idea of continuing to work after winning the lottery or receiving a windfall may seem unrealistic, a new Gallup Poll finds that "about two-thirds of employed Americans would keep working even if they won $10 million in the lottery."

The percentage might come as a shock, especially since a 2013 poll found that approximately 70 percent of American workers are "disengaged" from their jobs. 

But despite the fact that many complain about their jobs and employers, and proudly exclaim that they would quit working if given the opportunity, they might sing a different tune after hitting the jackpot. 

“If I didn’t work, I’d be lost," says Melissa Weinmann, a civil service worker who won $1 million in a Powerball jackpot in 2013. 

Interestingly enough, although the poll revealed that most people would continue to work, this doesn't suggest that they would stay with their current employer. From the group of participants who wouldn't stop working, 44 percent said they would stick with their current job, whereas 23 percent said that they would look for a different job. 

"While many lottery winners continue earning an income, a very small percent of them continue doing exactly what they were doing prior to winning. The lottery winners' new financial freedom affords them opportunity to craft the careers they really want. They are fully in control of their career destiny," says Dr. Paula Caligari, author of Get a Life, Not A Job. 

However, the question remains: Why work when money isn't an issue?

In most cases, this choice has a lot to do with present economics. Between recessions, housing market crashes and high unemployment, more and more people are concerned with finances. Savvy people think long-term; and while a windfall alleviates immediate financial worries, "$10 million may not seem like as much of a windfall as it did in years past, thanks to inflation and a better understanding of how lottery winnings are paid out."

So, whether you choose to quit your job or continue working after winning the lottery is entirely your decision -- as long as you're happy, that's the only thing that matters. 

If you won the lottery, would you continue to work? Your comments and thoughts below please…

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