A South Carolina lottery ticket holder has won $1.6bn (£1.24bn) billion in the Mega Millions lottery. It is the largest jackpot in US history. The money could change a lot of things for the winner – including their political views.
Research published in 2014 on lottery winners in the UK found that they became more right wing after their windfall.
Using data from the British Household Panel Survey of more than 25,000 UK adults, the researchers followed changes in the political preferences of lottery winners from 1996 to 2009.
A total of 4,277 of the survey participants were lottery winners who had also recorded their political beliefs. They rated their views from one to seven, where one was strongly supporting left-wing Labour, and seven was strongly supporting the Conservatives, the UK’s leading right-wing party.
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Winning more than £500 ($645) shifted people’s views approximately 0.13 points on the scale to the right. That’s equivalent to about a 2% shift towards the Conservative end of the spectrum.
It might not sound like a huge shift, but it was significant compared with other factors that influence an individual’s politics, such as education. Completing secondary education to age 18 nudged people along the political spectrum by nearly 4% to the right, compared with people who have…