We all dream about winning the lottery but know the odds of hitting the jackpot are extremely slim. Still, it’s natural to occasionally daydream about what you would do if you won $200 million or received a windfall some other way, like a big inheritance from a long-lost relative.
At the same time, we have all heard the stories of lottery winners whose lives actually changed for the worse: bad investments, ruined friendships, addictions — and divorce. Could winning the lottery actually put your marriage at risk, despite the sudden financial security and ability to afford all your dreams? According to a new study, the answer could depend on your gender.
Male winners were less likely to get divorced…
The study examined lottery winners in Sweden. Among the researchers’ findings: married men who won around 1 million Swedish kroner (about $96,000) were 40 percent less likely than average to divorce in the following decade. Unmarried male lottery winners were 30 percent more likely to get married within five years.
… But women were more likely
Meanwhile, female lottery winners were not as lucky. According to the study, women who won the lottery were twice as likely to get divorced in the following few years, though the difference seems to fade afterward. The study’s authors suspect this means that lottery money can aggravate problems that already existed in the marriage.
Divorce can happen to anyone in Phoenix
Chances are that you will never have to worry about a lottery jackpot or similar windfall affecting your marriage. But divorce could still be a reality someday. In that case, you would need help to ensure that you receive a fair property division settlement and a child custody arrangement that puts the kids’ best interests first.