Should Lottery Winners Share with Their Colleagues?By Jason Marsh | April 1, 2011 | 2 comments
Greater Good's Jason Marsh writes on CNN.com 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.
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About The Author
Jason Marsh is the editor in chief of Greater Good.