Putting a price on happiness

Lots of us regularly think about it, yearn after it, even.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 5:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 7:15 am

Some people go to bed dreaming about it, while others wake up in the middle of the night with it playing firmly on their mind. No, not that! What I am talking about is winning the lottery, it used to be the Pools but for the past 25 years, we have become a nation of daydreamers, who regularly get carried away with the vague notion that one day, just maybe, our six crucial numbers might just come up. I have lost count of the number of times I have spent my imaginary win in my head: the JR Ewing-esque mansion, the gold Roller, the holiday homes in countless different exotic occasions and, every bloke’s ultimate fantasy, the bath with a telly in it - the list is endless.

Almost everybody says they would take care of their loved ones first - but I suspect, in reality, many of us would forget that we ever made such a commitment. Then there is the amount - we all have different figures in mind when it comes to our imaginary big win with the modest among us saying “just a million would do me”, while the would-be Viv Nicholsons out there claim “I would easily get through 10 million quid so would probably need 20”.

But one thing is for certain - we are all pretty confident a monster win would make our lives a whole lot easier, especially at this time of year, when we have to deal with Santa lists which contain the latest Nintendo and dolls that do their business in their expensive outfits.

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However, a Harvard professor has undertaken a study with 2,000 millionaires, asking them, on a scale of one to 10, how happy they are and how much more cash would they need to score top marks.

Of those worth £1m, a quarter of them said they would need 11 times the amount before they were well and truly satisfied with their lot. This trend continues with people with even more loot, even those worth 7.5 big ones.

Apparently the study shows that just because you can afford a sit on lawnmower for your gardener to use, you will always be looking over the garden fence at what the neighbours have. Even the super wealthy want to keep up with Joneses.