Will Lotto Win Extend Your Life? Is Wealth Really the Spice of Life?

Article excerpt

A FRIEND of mine told me that people were lined-up 10-deep at her newsagency waiting to get their hands on what they hoped would be the winning ticket in last Tuesday's $112 million Lotto. We're told that more than one-in-three people in The Land of Oz invested their hard-earned for a chance to be a winner.

While most people know that money alone will not bring happiness, the turnout (even on Melbourne Cup day) to win $112 million seems to suggest that, for most people, possessing enough money is more appealing than the alternative. Apparently, most agree with Mae West's observation: aI've been rich and I've been poor. And rich is bettera. Or, perhaps Spike Milligan struck a chord when he said, aAll I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happya.

The eighteenth-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau drew attention to what most of us have come to realise: wealth is not a question of having lots of money; it's about having what you want. And John Ruskin (1819-1900) challenged the central idea of his age (that there was something admirable about being rich), by advocating a different kind of wealth defined in terms of kindness, intelligence, sensitivity and godliness.

Money may not be able to buy happiness or love (according to the Beatles, that is), but it (money) can buy a better life: rich people do live longer than poor people.

Research suggests that people on higher incomes are happier and tend to live longer than those on low incomes. …