Should Lottery Winners Share with Their Colleagues?

By Jason Marsh | April 1, 2011 | 2 comments

Greater Good's Jason Marsh writes on that sharing the latest Mega Millions jackpot might bring the winners more happiness than keeping the prize all to themselves.

If you won $19 million, would you share it with your co-workers?

That’s the question seven lucky New York state employees are reportedly contemplating after claiming the huge Mega Millions lottery jackpot Thursday. For years, the so-called “Albany Seven” have pooled their money to buy lottery tickets together.

Now that their numbers have come up, they are in a position to share their winnings with five colleagues who had been part of the pool in the past but didn’t pitch in this time around.

The idea of sharing a multimillion dollar windfall such as this might seem ludicrous. It surely goes against some longstanding notions we have about human behavior, namely that it’s guided by self-interest.

But a recent wave of scientific research suggests it’s not such a crazy idea after all. In fact, giving away a portion of their winnings might be a surer route to happiness for the Albany Seven than keeping it all for themselves.

Click here to read the rest of the piece, published today on

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About The Author

Jason Marsh is the editor in chief of Greater Good.


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Interesting dilemma. In recent years I think the public’s focus on wellbeing has shifted to the idea that it’s not so much about money, but rather about sustainability. I bet some financial advisors would have an opinion on how to share money in a way that benefits everyone.

Emmy | 3:05 pm, April 6, 2011 | Link


Are the winners of the Albany seven a syndicate from CA? Because I can’t find any mention of them on the California Mega Millions result page
Can anyone please please provide the details for that event? It would be quite interesting to know if they did share at the end

Clemens | 3:52 am, November 8, 2011 | Link

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