Lottery Dreams Aren’t All About Spending Sprees


Livonia, MI, November 11, 2010 – Q. You just won the lottery!  What are you going to do now!? A. Uhhh… pay off my debt.

According to the results of a study conducted by Market Strategies International, a global market research and consulting firm, consumers with the good fortune to win the lottery would be conservative with their winnings and pay off their debt first.

In fact, paying off debt was the top choice of consumers, regardless of income level, with over one-third responding that it would be the first thing on their list should they be lucky enough to win the lottery, according to Market Strategies’ new Consumer Financial Outlook study, conducted September 23-29.

“The top answer seems to correlate with the shift to the more conservative ‘pay as you go, live within your means’ financial approach we’re seeing in other parts of our research results,” said Mark Willard, senior vice president of Market Strategies’ Financial Services Division. “We believe this to be a long-term effect of the recent economic challenges and perhaps the most fundamental change in economic outlook since the Great Depression,” he said.

The next six choices, in order of popularity, seem better aligned with traditional dreams of riches:

  • 25 percent would buy a house
  • 15 percent would either (a) help family and friends, or (b) save or invest (tie)
  • 11 percent would buy a car
  • 10 percent would take a vacation
  • 6 percent would help others or donate to charity

“Surprisingly, the age of the respondent has little effect on the choice,” said Willard.  “Every respondent from age 30-70 chose to pay off debt first. Only Gen Xers (age 21-29) put it second, behind buying a house. Of course, that seems logical in that they may not yet have been able to purchase a home at their age.”

Market Strategies’ Consumer Financial Outlook study was conducted online through uSamp, with 2006 respondents from U.S. consumers between the ages of 21-70. Margin of error is +/- 2 percent.

For more information about this study, contact Mark Willard at 734.542.7644 or

Market Strategies International

Market Strategies International is a market research and consulting firm specializing in communications, energy, financial services, healthcare and technology. Our expertise includes Customer Experience Management, Product Development and Optimization, Segmentation, Messaging and Communications Testing, and Brand Development and Positioning. Founded in 1989, Market Strategies is the 17th largest research firm in the U.S. according to “Honomichl Top 50,” published in the June 2010 issue of Marketing News. Visit for more information.