MORE than half of people in Northern Ireland (52 per cent) have changed their ‘bucket list’ since the outbreak of Covid-19, according to new research carried out by The National Lottery.
While people still dream of striking it rich, their priorities and how they might spend it have changed significantly during the past three months.
Now learning how to cook, growing your own vegetables and redesigning the garden are top of Northern Ireland’s ‘new normal’ bucket list.
Forgetting travel to exotic locations, adrenalin inducing skydives or marathon running challenges, Northern Ireland’s current wish list is now much closer to home and motivated by reducing stress and worry (48 per cent), keeping our nearest and dearest safe (41 per cent) and living a healthier lifestyle (38 per cent).
Topping the new bucket list is learning to cook or improving home cooking or baking skills (20 per cent) – as NI residents look to unleash their inner Gordon Ramsay or Nigella Lawson!
Improving our outside space is definitely high on the new wish list with creating a kitchen garden (16 per cent) and a garden redesign project (14 per cent) making up the top three – and building a pub or bar in the garden (nine per cent) and the installation of a hot tub (seven per cent) also taking top 10 spots.
Demonstrating Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurial spirit, starting a business (seven per cent) also features in the top 10, with gardening or animal care enterprises topping the list of business ideas, followed by online retail emporiums.
From online entrepreneurs to new careers as gardeners and tree surgeons, bucket listers want to improve their work-life balance as well as their place of work.
Participants 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 (29 per cent) and a desire to be with those dearest to us (with 14 per cent opting for a large country estate where their whole family could live).
‘Giving back’ is also key for Northern Ireland residents with deep Lotto pockets as 31 per cent would commit to improving society – whether donating to charity or NHS (13 per cent), giving up work to volunteer (six per cent), supporting businesses affected by Covid-19 (seven per cent) or creating a wildlife sanctuary (five per cent).
Reflective of the current global situation, safety is high on the list for a handful of those with a big bank balance – five per cent would invest in a luxury, self-sufficient underground bunker to keep their family safe.
Commenting on the findings, Camelot’s Andy Carter, Senior Winners’ Advisor at The National Lottery, said: “Northern Ireland’s ‘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.”