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Luxurious Indulgences – Splurging on Jackpot-Winning Experiences

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Many consumers treat themselves to luxury purchases, but feel guilty about them. A recent survey suggests that people’s definition of luxury has become less materialistic and more experiential, with a focus on leisure time.

This research conceptually replicates and experimentally tests the predicted interaction between gift-giving motivation and perceived morality of indulgences in a naturalistic setting. The results confirm that the context influences affordability and suggest a new avenue for understanding dissonance reduction in luxury consumption.

1. Lara Griffiths

After winning the lottery, Lara Griffiths spent more than her jackpot on a luxurious lifestyle. The Brit splurged on exotic cars, a dream home, designer clothes and accessories, and even a private school for her daughters. But her lavish spending ultimately led to her downfall and a bitter divorce.

Roger and Lara Griffiths reportedly rarely argued before they won the lottery in 2005. They used their PS1.8 million to buy a barn conversion home in Yorkshire and a Porsche, as well as five-star holidays to Dubai, Monaco and New York City.

Then the money started to disappear. Bad investments, a fire at their house and a recession wiped out most of what they’d won.

In the end, they had less than $10 left. Lara said she does not regret winning the lottery but wishes they’d managed their funds better. Instead, she and her ex now claim they spend their time arguing. Their daughter Ruby has reportedly refused to see her father.

2. Sharon Tirabassi

After winning the Lotto Super 7 jackpot, Sharon Tirabassi spent her $10 million on a lavish house, designer clothes and a truckload of cars. She also took exotic trips and threw fancy parties. She even gave family and friends loans and handouts – which were never paid back – and before long her bank balance was practically empty.

She admitted to checking her account every now and then but as there were always plenty of zeros, she didn’t think that anything was wrong. However, she realised the truth one day when her balance had dropped to $750,000.

Now, she rents a home in Hamilton with her six children and works as a part-time personal support worker. She occasionally takes the bus to work. She says that she is much happier this way and doesn’t miss her old life at all. She also advises anyone who wins the lottery to stick close to their family and be wary of mooching friends.

4. Roger and Lara Griffiths

Roger and Lara Griffiths were fairly well off before they won the lottery in 2005, with him making a good living as an IT manager and her as a teacher. Together they brought in about PS80,000, enough to live comfortably for most UK couples.

But after winning the jackpot, things began to get a little out of hand. They splurged on five-star holidays to Dubai, Majorca and Monaco, bought a barn conversion in Yorkshire and a Porsche convertible. They even appeared on Location, Location, Location to find their dream home.

They also spent thousands on cosmetics and body modifications including tattoos and plastic surgery. Roger got his teeth whitened and had Botox, and spent more than PS500 on a collection of tattoos that read ‘Lara’ on his bicep. He also reformed his band and hired a publicist to revive his dream of being a rock star.

But by 2013, every penny of their prize money was gone – and the couple’s marriage had fallen apart.

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