Lottery millionaires find there's no place like work

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The Independent Online
More than half the new millionaires created by the National Lottery have carried on working, shattering the illusions of dreamers everywhere who would like nothing better than to tell their boss to get lost.

A survey conducted by Camelot, the lottery organisers, shows that winners prefer to keep their jobs and workmates than to turn their back on them.

As seven more punters became millionaires last Saturday, the survey showed that 51 per cent of jackpot winners were still working despite enjoying hefty bank balances. Twenty-two per cent were in the same job, 22 per cent had changed jobs and 7 per cent were in new businesses.

Of these who matched five numbers plus the bonus, the next best thing to the jackpot, most also continued to work, with 23 per cent in the same post, 26 per cent changing jobs and 3 per cent starting new business ventures.

After winning pounds 5.5m in August last year, Mark Lund of Doncaster returned to work and invested in the company which employed him as a labourer.

Bob Westland, of Alloa, central Scotland, who ran his local village post office, now owns a hotel after winning pounds 3.8m in July 1995. And Shaun Renaud, of Bracknell, Berkshire, now owns a bar and restaurant after winning pounds 2.7m last year.The syndicate of 19 tax officers in Motherwell, Strathclyde, who landed pounds 4.2m last April all went back to their desks and 10 laboratory technicians in Edinburgh returned work after winning pounds 440,281 last November.

Hunter Davies, whose book on lottery winners, Living on the Lottery, is published next month, pointed out that many of the winners would have been unemployed in the first place.

"Before [the others] won the lottery, when they were fantasising about it, they say 'You won't see my feet for dust, I'll be in Barbados'. But the first reaction of almost all winners is that they don't want to change their life," he said. One man he spoke to had stopped, however - "because he felt mean keeping someone else out of work".

Mr Davies added that they did not work out of misery. "It's a consolatory myth that people who win are unhappy. The vast majority are much happier after winning, even a year later, than they were before," he said.

t Saturday's winning lottery numbers were 27, 3, 5, 47, 14 and 44; the bonus was 43.