Would you quit your job if you won the lotteryI read a very interesting article from Gallup earlier this year entitled "Engaged" Workers Would Keep Jobs Upon Winning Lottery that indicated only 25% of engaged employees would stop working if they won $10 million in the lottery with 63% electng to remain in their current job (see full statistics below).

Given that the US median household income in 2012 was a little over $51,000 (source) that's nearly a whopping 200 times what Joe and Jane Public are bringing home each year.

So it got me thinking about a couple of things as it pertains to engaged employees...

What would it take to make you quit?

Assuming (or imagining) that we enjoy and are engaged in our workplace, do most of us have a hard number in mind (such as 5 million) at which point we decide to pack it in and go do our own thing without ever working again?  

Excluding the already very wealthy, I'm sure the average blue or white collared worker has thought to themselves "..if only I could get my hands on [insert number here], I'd be outta here and kicking back lickety-split"  Or perhaps it is a little more scientific and depends on your age and career stage.  

For example, a single man or woman in their mid-40s who has about 20 more years to go before retirement and currently has a decent standard of living may decide that 30 times their salary is enough.  This probably gives them ample up front money to pay off things like their house while still giving them at least the same standard of living that they are accustomed to.

However, a married couple of similar age, with a few kids (who will hopefully head off to college one day) may need that multiplier to be in the 50+ range to ensure financial security without having to work.

Would your engagement change if you did stay at the same job?

So you wake up one morning with 5 million big ones in your bank account but you really like your job, you boss and your colleagues.  You decide that you want to stay with them...albeit you might now arrive to work in a shiny Ferrari and an upgraded wardrobe.   Knowing that you don't need to be there and the paycheck isn't a necessity, how would it affect you in the job?

I honestly cannot see it not changing someone's outlook to some degree....but I can see how it could go both ways.

On the one hand, you may actually become more engaged at work because a lot of the stress in your personal life may now have vanished.  You are not wondering during the day if you can pay a certain bill or how your kids will get through college.  You may find that you can put more into your work and in return it gives you a greater sense of self-esteem and worth.

Alternatively, even though you may love your job isn't it inevitable that you would want to indulge yourself and as a result

  1. you will likely find yourself thinking and talking about things you could only previously imagine
  2. possibly feel fellow workers eyeing you with a sense of jealousy and envy

You could ponder the various scenarios and outcomes for along time...and if truth be told it's a quandary I think we'd all like to find ourselves in.

The full table from Gallup®


Continue in current job

Take a  different job

Stop working

Actively Disengaged




Not Engaged