Like a lot of others, you probably buy a lottery ticket every once in a while. And more than likely ponder now and again about what you would do if you won the jackpot.
Until you win the big lottery prize, you’re probably content with the thrill of playing, the anticipation of winning and the daydreaming of how it could affect your life.
Would you look at your $30 million ticket and then hit the snooze alarm the next morning? Would you leap out of bed, eager to get to work despite your wealth? Would you craft your letter of resignation at the breakfast table and head straight for the boss’s office?
A new survey of working Americans reports that 55 percent would continue working in their jobs even if they won $10 million in a lottery. 44 percent would simply take the money and turn the office lights out, according to the Gallup Poll. There was no accounting for the remaining 1 percent, who must still be stunned by their $10 million windfall.
If you think that 55 percent is exaggerated, you probably haven't been keeping up with changes in our world. For many people, the day is long gone when a job was just a means to keep bread on the table. That, of course, was what caused us to go to work in the first place, and while most people still need a job for that very reason, it's no longer an overriding motivation.
Sociologists tell us that work helps give our lives meaning. It is a way of connecting to others and working toward a common goal. The luckiest among us believe that the work we do helps make the world a better place for someone else. In short, work can be a comforting and stabilizing aspect of our lives.
The Gallup Poll shows that 45 percent of the people under the age of 50 would leave their jobs if they won a $10 million lottery, while 59 percent of those 50 or older would leave. Older workers may have already spent time thinking about their retirements or second careers, which could account for why they are more ready to bail-out from their workplaces.
For workers under the age of 50, work is still important. In many lives, work plays a role with families in giving structures and meaning to people. Ever heard of anyone saying they would give up their family responsibilities if they won $10 million?
Would you do the same work you do now? Maybe, maybe not! Does every job that you fantasize about pale in comparison to what you do now?