Winning the lottery is the dream. Who wouldn’t want to wake up one day, half-heartedly check their ticket with a sense of “what-if?”, only to see the fated numbers line their screen. Many people think about that moment, but not many think about what they’d do after. Ask someone what they’d do with their winnings, and you’ll get a vague “buy a house”, or a non-committal “go on a long vacation.”

But if you won – if you really won – would you know what to do? Where to go? We've thought long and hard about this ourselves, and are here to share with you the best cities to move to once you hit the big time.

Lottery Location

The amber beaches of Australia's Gold Coast are a prime spot for anyone wanted to live their life in paradise

The criteria

What would you be searching for in a city worthy of a lottery winner? Some things you’ll probably be looking at include:

  • Cost of living (housing, food, etc.)
  • Fun activities (beach, skiing, etc)
  • Environment (weather, crime rate etc.)

With that said, let’s look at some noteworthy cities that you might want to grace with your newfound millions.

Gold Coast Australia

The Gold Coast is quite aptly named. Located in Australia’s Northwestern state of Queensland, its most popular draw is quite obvious: its long golden beaches. We started with this one as it’s probably closest to what you’d picture when you think about retiring to a nice beach house, where the sun always beams down.

The Gold Coast real estate market hovers in the (relatively) cheaper 1-3 million AUD range, which wouldn’t put a massive dent in your winnings. This means you could use the rest of your money to travel to nearby places like Thailand, New Zealand, or even around Australia itself, where you can partake in any number of outdoor activities from water sports to skiing (yes, you can ski in Australia.)

If the city is more your scene, the Gold Coast is only an hour’s drive or train ride from Brisbane, one of Australia’s biggest cities. This means it’s far enough away to be free from the hustle and bustle, but close enough that you can immerse yourself in the city life if you ever need some good ol’ noise.

And not to stereotype, but Australia certainly has one of the more relaxed airs and cultures of any country in the world – perfect for anyone looking to spend their days doing little more than whatever they want.

Similar locations

Southern California: A very similar climate and attitude in places like LA and San Diego

Florida: It’s known as the retirement state for a reason. While maybe not the best move for a younger person, the heat and relaxed attitude is a draw for many

Park City, Utah

From hot to cold, south to north, let’s look at Park City, Utah. If hot beachy climates aren’t your cup of tea, then maybe a nice chilly mountainous region is more your fancy. You might be familiar with the Sundance Film Festival, where independent filmmakers come together to present their films, vying for attention from Hollywood. This annual event actually takes place in Park City, making it the city’s claim to fame.

Utah is one of the best states for the rich. The real estate in Park City is anywhere between a single million and an eight figure number, so it’s certainly one of the higher value areas that we’ll be looking at. However, the hiking trails, generally low-traffic area (outside of the Sundance festival), and overall peaceful environment is perfect for anyone who wants to sequester themselves.

If you like an occasional dip into a higher traffic area, Salt Lake City is only a 40 minute drive away. While it’s not the biggest city in America, with a population of only 200,000, it’s big enough to give you a sense of busyness.

Move after lottery

Looking to cuddle up under a blanket of money? You could do a lot worse than Park City, Utah

Similar locations

Aspen, Colorado: More of a vacation spot than a year-round place to live, but what multimillionaire is complete without a “house in Aspen”?

Select the size of your move to get free quotes

London, England

While it may not be the most exotic location on this list, London isn’t known as the financial capital of the world for nothing. When you find yourself suddenly inundated with cash, you might want to start your new investment hobby. If this is the case, then there’s no better place to do so than London.

London is massive, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to where to live – from the quiet Chiswick to the bustling Notting Hill. As you could expect from the financial capital of the world, there are some truly lavish spots that would put a dent in even the biggest lottery winner’s bank account.

London is also a great spot for a wannabe traveller, sitting right on Europe’s doorstep, so you can go galavanting while your money stays at home and works for you.

As far as any cliches you’ve heard about London, they’re pseudo-true. The weather isn't great, and crime is a problem in certain parts of the city – but what you’ve heard has probably been overstated, as most cliches are. As far as weather, England had its hottest summer on record in 2018!

Similar locations

New York: Following close behind London as a financial centre, if you’re trying to enter the investment game, you couldn’t go wrong in New York 

Tokyo: If you’re looking for a big exotic change while also trying to invest wisely, Tokyo has a bit (or a lot) of both

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

If investing isn’t your game, and you’d rather just hold onto your money as tightly as you can, then you aren’t going to find a better location than Saudi Arabia. We’ve chosen the capital of the country, but any major city will do for the reasons we’ll discuss.

Putting the heat and potential social issues aside, Saudi Arabia has the best “bang for your buck” potential of any country in the world. Firstly, they have some of the most relaxed tax laws. Saudi Arabia is already a very rich country, meaning they don’t have a massive incentive to tax their citizens (not that that’s ever stopped some people in the past).

That means your money stays in your pockets, and can be spent how you see fit. This could entail any number of things, as Saudi Arabia also has phenomenal spending power, meaning that more stuff can be bought with a smaller amount of money.

Similar locations

Brunei: Brunei has surreally low tax rates, meaning your money is going to stay yours

Cayman Islands: Known as “the most notorious tax haven on earth,” there are few better places to store your riches

Tax Lottery

This happy camel doesn't have many riches, but he's still enjoying living in Saudi Arabia

Oslo, Norway

Finally, if you don’t care about the weather, investing, taxes, or amazing activities, and you’re just looking for a good life, there aren’t many better options for you than Norway. Norway consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in almost every category you could think of.

When looking at the Human Development Index – a metric quantified by the United Nations that measures a country’s important quotients, like education levels, life expectancy, and income – Norway is consistently at the top.

What's more, in the Better Life Index – a similar metric measured by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which looks at things like work-life balance, environment, and overall happiness of citizens – Norway once again took the crown.

So if you don't care for the fancy things that everyone always associates with money, and you just want to settle down with your untold riches in a nice spot, then there’s no better place for you than Norway. Norwegians also mostly speak very good English, so you won’t be left high and dry if you do end up moving there.

Similar locations

Australia: Simply going off of the BLI and HDI numbers, Australia is a close second when it comes to quality of life and society – and it comes with a warmer climate, too

Switzerland: Switzerland is not far behind Australia in these metrics, making it a similarly promising prospect

Sweet, sweet victory

Well, if you’ve won: congratulations. We wish you the best with your new fortune, but make sure not to spend it all in one place (if that’s even physically possible). If you haven’t won yet, hopefully you have more of an idea of where you’d want to end up if – no, when – you do.

Of course, if you’ve won and have no idea what to do even after reading this article, you could always contact the writer of this article (found below) and send him a small slice of your winnings as a show of gratitude for the help he’s tried to offer.