What do National Lottery winners spend their money on?

3,000 millionaires have been created by the National Lottery but what have they spent their money on? How many homes do they own and where is the most popular holiday destination?
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In the past 18 years the National Lottery has created 3,000 millionaires. But what have the lucky winners spent their money on? And how many stay in work despite their newly acquired fortune?

According to a study by Camelot and Oxford Economics, over £8.5bn has been won since the National Lottery launched in 1994, with the average win coming in at £2.8m. The average win laid end to end in £10 notes would stretch for 25 miles.

So what cars, holidays and luxuries do lottery winners go for? A survey of the spending habits of the 3000 millionaires created since the National Lottery’s launch has given us the following insights.

What do winners’ spend their money on?

Property was the most popular area for winners to spend their money on with £2.72bn spent on a main property. Investments to provide income were the second most popular with £2.12bn spent. Investments for future/children accounted for £1.61bn and £1.17bn was used on gifts to family and friends.

The study also looks at how winners have contributed to the UK economy. Caroline Davies writes today:

Winners have contributed almost £750m to GDP, and generated more than £500m in tax receipts for the Exchequer. The bulk of the money went on property, with £2.72bn spent on winners’ main properties, and £170m in paying off existing debt and mortgages.

Through their spending on property, cars, caravans, and travel and tourism, the study estimates that each winner keeps six people in a full time job for a year. The results also show that 98% of the winners’ direct spending remained in the UK.

Do winners keep working?

The majority of winners (59%) give up work whilst 19% carried on working despite their big win. Unpaid voluntary work is undertaken by 31% of the winners and 7% have helped in a care home or hospital.

Many use the cash to start their own business – 15% start up their own business and 9% have helped other to set themselves up in business. The report states that businesses owned by lottery winners employ 3,195 people.

What property do they buy?

In total £3.3bn has been spent by lottery millionaires with each winner owning an average of 2.7 UK properties. The majority (82%) changed their main home and spent on average £900,000 on a new place. This means in total, winners have purchased 7,958 houses or flats in the UK.

Hot tubs, walk-in wardrobes, electric gates and a games room were features most winners required in their new home. Almost a third bought a new home with a hot tub and 28% went for a walk-in wardrobe, whereas 24% opted for a home with electric gates. Maintenance was another area winners spent money on with 30% of winners employed a cleaner and 24% a gardener.

What luxuries do winners spend their money on?

Over £460m has been spent on buying new cars. Audi is the marque of choice with 16% purchasing one of the luxury cars. Range Rover and BMW were the second most sought after and Mercedes and Land Rover also made the top five of most popular cars.

The average price of a winner’s favourite car is £46,116 and in total 17,190 cars have been bought by lottery millionaires.

A holiday is another must-have and the USA is the most frequent choice by far at 27%. The Caribbean was the favourite overseas country for 9% with Dubai and the Canary Islands chosen by 6% each. Five star hotels are frequented by 68% of winners although winners have also generated £7.4m of UK caravan sales.

The tables below shows what winners spend their money on, their favourite cars to buy and top holiday destinations. For more figures from the study download the spreadsheet below. What can you do with this data?

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