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Spending a Million Pounds

Young People are Charitable and Sensible

Spending a Million Pounds - Children's Survey
We always suspected it and now we know – the Education Quizzes students are both charitable and sensible.

Our recent survey asked how you would spend £1 million and 1,309 of you gave us your views. 50% told us they would not keep it all for themselves but would either share it with their family or give it to charity. 35% would either start a business or invest it and only 15% said they would blow it all on a house and car. You can see the full results below.

In hopes that you may one day be lucky enough to inherit £1,000,000, or win it on the lottery, we thought it might be fun to analyse your chances of winning and look at your options if you do.


The National Lottery

In the 25 years since the lottery started it has created 5,550 new millionaires (people who have won £1 million or more) so it seems that the odds are fairly good but statistics can be deceiving… The odds of scooping the jackpot are just over 45 million to one against for each individual ticket. That means if you buy just one ticket a week then you are likely to win big time once in every 866,000 years.

The odds are much better for matching 5 balls plus the bonus ball – that comes down to a mere 7,509,579 to one against so you would only have to play for 144,000 years on average to win. For more fascinating facts about the lottery see

Not impressed? As we said, statistics can be misleading so console yourself with the fact that on average the National Lottery creates over 4 millionaires EVERY WEEK and it’s great fun checking those numbers to see if you are one of the lucky ones.

And it’s not all about winning – remember that 25% of the cost of every lottery ticket goes straight to good causes so over £40 billion has so far been contributed to a myriad of different organizations and charities.

Premium Bonds

If you think the odds of winning that £1 million on the Lottery are surprisingly unfavourable then you might well be shocked at the chances on Premium Bonds. For each £1.00 bond that you own there is less than a 1 in 40 billion (40,000,000,000) chance of winning each month!

The significant thing to remember about the difference between The National Lottery and Premium Bonds is that once you buy a lottery ticket that money has gone forever but with Premium Bonds your £1.00 investment is still safe and secure and you can withdraw it whenever you please.

Remember what we said about statistics being misleading? That is certainly the case with the figures we have given you so far because there are hundreds of thousands of “lesser prizes” to be won every week on the Lotto and every month on Premium Bonds so don’t be disillusioned!

Buying a House and a Car

Bugatti – La voiture Noire The average house price in the UK is £233,000 and the average price for a new car is about £29,000 so if you settle for both an average house and an average car then you will still have nearly three quarters of your £1 million left.

If you set your sights on the top end of the market then you need to keep saving for a while even after you become a millionaire. The Bugatti “La Voiture Noire” (The Black Car!) will set you back about £11 million whilst The Guardian tells us that a penthouse in Knightsbridge was sold for £160 million.

Giving to Charity

The Charities Aid Foundation report that around £10 billion is given to UK charities each year. Dividing that total by the number of people in the UK (about 66 million) means that each individual gives an average of just over £150.00 annually.

You might be surprised at the charities that receive the most – here are the top 10 fundraising charities together with the total amount they received in 2016 – the latest year for which we can find complete results:

  1. Cancer Research UK (£446,000,000)
  2. British Heart Foundation (£263,000,000)
  3. Macmillan Cancer Support (£214,000,000)
  4. Oxfam (£192,000,000)
  5. Sightsavers (£184,000,000)
  6. RNLI (£170,000,000)
  7. British Red Cross (£139,000,000)
  8. Salvation Army (£130,000,000)
  9. Save the Children (£125,000,000)
  10. NSPCC (£115,000,000)

Invest it

Here is an interesting statistic for all you wise individuals who said you would invest the money: If you won the £1,000,000 at age 14 and invested it wisely, you could reasonably expect it to increase in real-term value by 3% a year after allowing for inflation. Then, if you forgot about the money until you wanted to retire it would be worth about £4.5 million when you were 65 years old. It sounds easy but who could forget about £1 million for over 50 years?

Starting a Business

The rewards for owning a successful business are large indeed. The problem is that according to Failory about 90% of startups fail. If everyone starting a business took the time to read and learn, this failure rate would be dramatically reduced. Failory is a good place to start!

If you get everything right then you might follow in the footsteps of Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, who currently earns about £1,000,000 every hour. If that happens then you, like Bill Gates, will be able to do enormous good in the world by giving some away. Almost certainly Bill and Melinda Gates have done more good in the world than anyone else in history. Their charity helps to fight Ebola, Polio and Malaria amongst other things that benefit millions of people worldwide.

Survey Results

The survey question this week was simply “What would you do with a million pounds?” Here are the results from a total of 1,309 responses:

What Would you do with £1 million? Percentage of Children
Start a Business 14
Buy a House and Car 15
Give it to a Charity 19
Invest it 21
Share it with Family 31


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