change in work situation; gambling; leisure; lottery winnings; work


Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Gaming Law

Document Type

Original Research Article


Based on a 2005 survey among Swedish lottery winners, the article throws new light on what those receiving a sudden windfall do with their existing jobs. Many may continue to work as before the winning, but others may alter their work situation in one way or another. We focus on three possible changes: (i) quitting the job; (ii) going on unpaid full-time leave; and (iii) shortening one's working hours. In our study less than 12% quit working, approximately 24% took unpaid full-time leave, 16% reduced their working hours, but 62% did not make any of these changes. In other words, our results suggest that large windfalls do not generally undermine lottery winners' willingness to get an income from work. However, the size of the winnings had a substantial impact on people's decisions to take unpaid full-time leave and to reduce working hours.