Travel more, quit work, get divorced – wealthy reveal what they’d do if they won the lottery

by | Feb 1, 2022

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  • The first thing most high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) would do if they won the lottery is ‘travel more’
  • One in eight (13%) would quit their job following an unexpected windfall
  • Almost one in ten (9%) women would get divorced if the won the lottery

The first thing most high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) would do if they won the lottery is ‘travel more’ according to the inaugural Saltus Wealth Index, with one in four saying that would be their top priority followed by ‘buy another house.’

The Saltus Wealth Index surveyed more than 1,000 people in the UK with investable assets over £250,000 to gain insight into their thoughts about the UK economy and feelings and experiences of their own wealth and what matters most to them personally.

One in eight respondents said that, if they came into money, they would pay for their kids to get a better education, while the same number would quit their job, rising slightly for women.

The perhaps more predictable ‘buy a fast car’ featured lower down the list, but was still the first thing 13% of men and 8% of women would splash out on if they won the lottery, while for 6% of those surveyed ‘getting a divorce’ would be the first thing they’d do if they came into cash. Women were almost twice as likely to say ending their marriage would be their first priority following a windfall than men.


Lottery dreams and real-life ‘splurges’ match up

Saltus also asked respondents about their ‘greatest splurge’ and the top answer was ‘holidays’.  One in four (26%) said a holiday was their biggest ‘splurge’ followed by ‘property’ (which was top for one in five (20%)).  Both were cited at least twice as often as splurges on new cars, food, drink, going out and clothes.

However, splurging does vary by age, with clothes the top priority for HNWIs under 25 (28%) while for over 65s, more than half (51%) cited holidays and fewer than 1% said clothes.


Education is clearly a priority for this group of respondents.  56% of respondents said they either already send their children to private school, or plan to.  Perhaps explaining why ‘buy my kids a better education’ is high on the list of hypothetical lottery spends for those HNWIs who currently don’t spend their money this way.

Michael Stimpson, Partner at Saltus said: “Everyone likes to dream of doing something special and for this group it is travel, perhaps because as the UK’s wealth creators they have precious little free time.

“However, the fact that for six per cent people, ‘get a divorce’ is high on the list is perhaps not surprising as separation is a fact of life.  However, along with the fact that 13% said they’d like to quit their job, it does highlight the importance of sound financial planning.”


Stimpson concludes: “If your dream is to travel more, quit your job or retire early, or even get a divorce, it is best to speak to a professional about how to achieve it, as you might be able to reach your financial goals than you think – and without a lottery win!”

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