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Wales’ ‘new normal’ bucket list reveals a yearning for the good life

Former Barry postie Matt Evans had a major garden revamp shortly after scooping a £2.6m Lotto jackpot in July 2015

Establishing a vegetable plot, redesigning the garden and learning how to cook are just some of the must haves on Wales’ new normal bucket list.

According to research carried out across Wales by The National Lottery ahead of the £15M ‘Must Be Won’ Lotto jackpot draw this Saturday (27 June), more than half of us (66%) have changed our wish list since the Covid-19 outbreak and now dream of the good life, and a millionaire lifestyle much closer to home.

Forgetting travel to exotic locations, adrenalin-inducing skydives or marathon running challenges, Wales’ wish list is now motivated by keeping our nearest and dearest safe (45%), reducing stress and worry (42%) and living a healthier lifestyle (32%).

Topping the region’s new bucket list is establishing a kitchen garden to grow vegetables (19%), closely followed by a garden redesign project (17%). Improving our outside space is clearly high on the wish list with the installation of a pub or bar in the garden (11%) also taking a top ten spot.

Demonstrating the Welsh entrepreneurial spirit, starting a business (7%) makes the top twenty, with enterprises in wellbeing top of the list followed by gardening or animal care. From new careers as yoga instructors and landscapers, the region’s ‘bucket listers’ want to improve their work-life balance and take a more holistic approach to life too.

While nurturing the garden tops the wish list, those in Wales are still an adventurous lot in search of new experiences; 12% would buy a camper van and explore more of the UK, one in ten want to experience a drive-in cinema and 8% want to climb a mountain. For those whose adventures are more cerebral, nearly 15% aspire to learn a new language while 6% yearn to take up a new creative hobby such as painting, pottery or photography.

Wales’ new normal bucket list top 20

  1. Grow my own vegetables/ get an allotment
  2. Redesign my garden
  3. Learn to speak a new language
  4. Buy a camper van or RV and explore more of the UK
  5. Try fresh water swimming
  6. Create a pub/bar in your garden
  7. Drive-in cinema experience
  8. Learn how to cook/improve cooking/baking skills
  9. Build a pizza oven at home
  10. Climb a mountain / Hike a noteworthy trail
  11. Emigrate to another country
  12. Buy and keep chickens at home
  13. Move to the countryside
  14. Set up my own business
  15. Install a hot tub
  16. Move to the seaside
  17. Train for a marathon or cycle race/challenge
  18. Swim naked in the sea
  19. Learn a new creative hobby such as painting or pottery
  20. Buy a decent camera and take up photography

With a £15M ‘Must Be Won’ Lotto jackpot up for grabs on Saturday, participants from across Wales were also asked how they might spend a big National Lottery win.

The good life trend continues with the international jet setter lifestyle and all its trappings firmly replaced by a seaside holiday home (21%), an RV (21%) and a desire to be with those dearest to us (14% dream of having a country estate where their whole family could live).

‘Giving back’ is also key for those with deep Lotto pockets, with 14% donating to charity or the NHS, creating a wildlife sanctuary (8%) or simply giving up work to volunteer (5%).

Reflective of the current global situation, safety is high on the list for a handful of those with a big bank balance, 3% would invest in a luxury, self-sufficient underground bunker to keep their family safe.

National results of the bucket list

Commenting on the findings, Camelot’s Andy Carter, Senior Winners’ Advisor at The National Lottery said, “Wales’ ‘new normal’ bucket list has certainly changed tack following lockdown however while our movements may have been curtailed, our dreams have not and they are now firmly focused around the simple joys of life.

“Over the years we have seen our winners relish the freedom a big win gives them, allowing them to follow their dreams. What we are seeing now is that those dreams are closer to home and based around the people and experiences we value the most. The greatest happiness often comes from having more free time to spend time with family and friends, trying a new hobby or investing in a campervan and hitting the open road. This research shows that if one person wins £15M on Saturday night, they are most likely to splash out on a country estate with its very own walled kitchen garden rather than a fleet of sports cars!”

Lottery winner, Matt Evans

Like 17% of those on Wales’ new bucket list, former Barry postie Matt Evans had a major garden revamp shortly after scooping a £2.6m Lotto jackpot in July 2015, by installing a full-size footie pitch, dug-out and Wales flag mosaic made out of flowers on his land.

And like another 11%, he is also one of many Lotto winners to improve their outdoor space by installing a bar in his garden.

Inside Matt’s cabin

Matt, who has just welcomed his first baby  – Sonny Marc Stanley Evans – to the world, with girlfriend Hollie Gallivan, had his spacious cabin bar installed in August 2018, as an added retreat from his sprawling country home in the Vale of Glamorgan.

They have been using it for get-togethers with their growing family, (including pampered pooch Betty), where they would all enjoy a day of sport followed by a BBQ around the firepit toasting marshmallows.

In winter there are fur throws and a hot chocolate maker in there and at this time of year they keep suncream, sun hats, summer music, beers and cocktail ingredients on hand in the cabin. Matt says: “I’ve created more of a pub feel in the cabin by bringing some of my footie memorabilia outdoors. Everyone knows I’m a bit of a footie fan and love my Welsh banners and flags.“

This Saturday’s Lotto draw (27 June) is a special ‘Must Be Won’ event draw with a £15M jackpot up for grabs. The life-changing jackpot cannot roll beyond this draw so if no one matches all six main numbers then the prize will roll down potentially creating lots of millionaires (when players match five main numbers and the bonus ball) as well as boosting the prizes at all levels.