Money really does bring you happiness, study says

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Money may not buy love, but it really can bring happiness. New research into lottery winners shows that mental wellbeing and happiness was much higher two years after a win.

But the research, based on men and women who had medium-sized lottery wins of between £1,000 and £120,000, shows there was no initial burst of happiness at the moment of winning, and it took time to kick in.

One theory is that it is not the winning that makes people happy, but the spending that comes later.

In the research, Professor Andrew Oswald and colleagues at the University of Warwick, analysed seven years of survey data which included information on mental health, depression and happiness, and which also included data on whether or not the individual had won a prize on the lottery.

The results show mental stress actually increases in the year of winning: "This implies that, in these data, there is no immediate burst of psychological wellbeing from a lottery win. If anything, the reverse is true,'' say the researchers.

But two years later, winners were much happier.