Ask anyone what they would do immediately after winning the lottery, and they would probably reply: "Quit my job." But according to a new study, almost a fifth of those who became millionaires overnight actually carried on working.
Only 59 per cent gave up work straight after their life-changing windfalls, the National Lottery-commissioned research showed, while 19 per cent continued with the daily grind.
The study into the spending and investment of the 3,000 lucky players who have become millionaires since the lottery was launched in 1994 also revealed that the winners made a further 3,780 millionaires among children, family and friends.
The research by forecasting consultancy Oxford Economics discovered that an Audi was the most popular car among the 3,000; America was their favourite holiday destination and almost a third had a Jacuzzi at home.
The group have bought 7,958 homes, 17,190 new cars and 300 caravans. Winners have started or supported 900 UK businesses employing 3,195 people, and 98 per cent of their spending remained in the UK. Overall, the winners' spending contributed almost £750m to the UK and generated more than £500m in tax receipts.
Andy Logan, co-analyst and author of the report from Oxford Economics, said: "The effect of a win spreads much further and wider than we anticipated. Not only does it transform the lives of friends and family, but each win has a measurable effect on the UK economy, especially with so much of it being spent in the UK."
Earlier this year Adrian and Gillian Bayford became the 516th richest people in Britain when they won the £148m EuroMillions jackpot. Yet Mr Bayford was back at work at the music shop he runs in Haverhill, Suffolk, a week after the second-largest lottery windfall in British history. Another couple who scooped £3.7m last week said they had no plans to quit their jobs. Debra Allsobrook's husband David, a sales engineer, told her of their good fortune during her break at the hair salon where she works – but she returned to finish cutting hair.
While Mr Bayford returned to work because he wanted to "get back to normality", another winner returned to his job at McDonald's because he missed it. Luke Pittard won £1.3m on the National Lottery in 2006, and after buying a new home and funding his wedding he returned. "I loved working at McDonald's and I'm really enjoying being there again," he said.
Lottery winners: What they buy
Caravans was one of the most popular items bought after a lottery win, and retired coal miner Thomas Harwood did just that after winning £1m in the EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle. The 72-year-old also said he would help his granddaughter with her university fees.
Gillian Bayford, who won £148m in August, offered a prime example of the Lottery winners' preference for Audis when she opted for the luxury Quattro Q7, getting a top-of-the-range sound system included for her £40,000.
Colin and Christine Weir scooped the biggest EuroMillions prize with a win of £161m last year. The Ayrshire couple have splashed out on a mansion, but have also donated money to their local football team and the Scottish National Party and set up a charitable trust.
Teenage lottery winner Eloise Hutchinson vowed to keep working her two jobs even after winning £1.3m on the National Lottery. She said: "I don't want things to change too much, I am not going to change." The 19-year-old bought her ticket at a Co-op store, where she had been working part-time.