Lotto losers are £4,000 poorer

Scottish Daily Mail - - Money Mail - By Ben Wilkin­son

WE ALL dream of scoop­ing the jack­pot and be­com­ing a mil­lion­aire overnight. And in 25 years of the Na­tional Lot­tery, more than 5,500 lucky tick­ethold­ers have done that.

But new fig­ures re­veal just how costly chas­ing that dream can be, and how that money could have been bet­ter spent.

If you have played the game ev­ery week since its launch on Novem­ber 19, 1994, you will have spent £1,625. Yet if this money had been in­vested, you would now have a pot of around £4,000 to­day, ac­cord­ing to in­vest­ment plat­form AJ Bell (based on an an­nual re­turn of 5 pc af­ter fees).

Now there are more games on of­fer, in­clud­ing EuroMil­lions and Thun­der­ball. If you had played ev­ery game pos­si­ble since their launch, you’d have spent more than £8,000, ac­cord­ing to Har­g­reaves Lans­down. But had you in­vested £8,000 in a stock­sand-shares Isa in­stead, you’d now likely have a £14,000 pot.

The first Na­tional Lot­tery in the UK draw did not make any mil­lion­aires. In­stead, seven win­ners shared the top prize and each took away £839,254.

If they’d in­vested their prize money, it would now be worth £2.9mil­lion to­day (with a 5 pc an­nual re­turn). But mil­lion­aire sta­tus is not what it used to be. Sarah Coles, per­sonal fi­nance an­a­lyst at Har­g­reaves, says while lot­tery win­ners spend an av­er­age of £900,000 on a new home, new mil­lion­aires should not buy one they can­not af­ford to main­tain.

She says a sen­si­ble re­sponse to a £1mil­lion wind­fall would be to pay off any debts first, then treat your­self and your fam­ily us­ing up no more than £100,000, and also put aside £50,000 as a cash re­serve.

Mean­while the rest could be in­vested: £700,000 would gen­er­ate an an­nual in­come of £24,500 with a re­turn of 3.5 pc. b.wilkin­[email protected]­ly­

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