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For the love of work: Most would stay on job after lottery win

Aug. 14, 2013 at 2:17 PM ET

Video: Will and Donna Seeley are two of the 16 members of an office pool who hit one of the biggest jackpots of all time.

Most American workers say they would get up and go to work even if they won the lottery – although they might be driving a better car and going to a different job.

A new Gallup poll finds that about two-thirds of employed Americans would keep working even if they won $10 million in the lottery. That’s a slight increase from 2005, when a higher share said they’d take the job and shove it.

Those lucky lottery winners might not stick with the job they have now, however. About 44 percent of the Gallup poll respondents said they’d keep working in their current job, while 23 percent said they’d continue in a different job. Another 31 percent said they’d stop working, and 2 percent weren't sure.

The results come just days after 16 New Jersey co-workers won the Powerball jackpot, netting the colleagues about $3.8 million each after taxes. Only one of the workers said he planned to quit work right away.

The Gallup researchers said they slight shift in attitude may have to do with the recession, which could have caused some people to worry more about finances and value having a stable job despite an unexpected influx of cash.

In addition, $10 million may not seem like as much of a windfall as it did in years past, thanks to inflation and a better understanding of how lottery winnings are paid out.

The Gallup telephone poll of 1,039 full- and part-time workers 18 and over was conducted earlier this month. It has a margin of error of 3 percent. 

Allison Linn is a reporter at CNBC. Follow her on Twitter @allisondlinn or send her an e-mail.


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