2nd Conditional Lesson Plan


Use an edited version of the article: ‘Does the lottery make you happy?  Suitable for upper intermediate level and advanced level students.

The main aim of the lesson is for the students to effectively practise their reading skills in the context of how the lottery affects people.

Sub aims will be for the learners to increase their vocabulary and to practise speaking in hypothetical situations.

The content of the text includes interviews, statements and opinions by real people. Most students should find this text beneficial as the students it is interesting and somehow comical.


Place or stick pictures on the walls that depict money, a casinos, lottery tickets and lottery balls. Next ask the students to look at the pictures for a minute then try to elicit the words ‘gambling’ and ‘lottery’ from them. The pictures will stimulate the students and get them in thinking mode so this should be easy.

Then ask them, if any of them has ever won a competition, e.g a raffle or if they knew anyone who had won the lottery. Then get them into pairs and ask them to discuss how they would feel if they ever won the lottery and get feedback from them.

Gist reading task

Give the students the text and three titles from which they will choose the most suitable title for the text.

Instruct the students to do this individually. Then get them to check each others answers in pairs, before  getting feedback.

Then ask the class if the Lottery does make people happy and get opinions from a few of them.

Detailed reading task

Elicit lexis before this task because there will be many words and word phrases that upper intermediate students will not know such as, ‘stunned’, ‘ups and downs’, ‘rip you off’, ‘retaining’ and ‘windfall’. Pre teaching the lexis will help the lesson flow as it will set things up for the rest of the task as they will have naturally increased their vocabulary, “The more someone reads, the more they pick up items of vocabulary” (Scrivener) 1.

It is important for the students to have time to read the text in order to find the correct answers . Give them some time to read the text and answer the questions individually . Get some students to the board to write answers on the board the rest of the students are working on the task. Then allow some time for the students to pair up and check the answers. Then get feedback from the students bearing in mind that some answers were already on the board. Sometimes the students want to offer to put their answers on the board so it is possible that there will be some errors. In this event other students will have the chance to correct the mistakes. (peer error –correction)

Freer task

Speaking is probably the most important part of language to learn, when learning a new language so set up a speaking task for them such as the one below.

The students will be given cards that have prompt questions on or prompt answers relating to hypothetical situations that they will have to role play. As the text will contain interviews and statements of people who have either won the lottery and are still happy after the win or have won the lottery and blown their money, it will be a great opportunity to practice speaking in the context. It will also be lots of fun. The students will have a couple of minutes to prepare their questions in respect to their roles, which will be; a person who has won the lottery and spent all his money and is now living a life of misery; a person who is happy after the win and still rich; a person who is rich but not happy and some journalists.

“a lesson where the main focus was a reading about “X” could end with a Speaking on the same topic”(Riddel)2.

Students will have the option of speaking to different students and will be expected to have spoken to each other, by the end of the activity. The journalist should question the lottery winners and the lottery winners should have given their sob or success stories by the end of the activity.

While the activity is a\taking place monitor them discreetly and jot down any mistakes that  you can save for the end to do some error correcting.

Once the activity is over  get feedback to find out what they found out, ie; sob stories the journalist found out or what successes the winners gained.

“learners will get a chance to become more fluent and confident” (Scrivener)3. “there is no point knowing a lot about language if you can’t use it”. (Scrivener) 4 This shows the importance of trying to practice the language or grammar that you are taught as soon as possible.


Place pictures of money, lottery balls, the casino, and other related ones from Google images around the class. Elicit the word ‘lottery’.

Gist reading task

1.Choose the most suitable title for the text:

A. Does the lottery make you happy?

B. Rich and poor


Ans: Does the lottery make you happy?

2.. Seven people won the lottery in this article? True or false

Ans: False =4

3.Roy Gibney won £7.5m in….

A. 1998

B. 2009

C. 1998

4) Mrs Nicolson is also known as the ‘Lotto lout’?

Ans: False Micheal Carroll

Detailed reading task

Read the article titled ‘Does the Lottery make you happy?’ carefully and answer the questions from the text.

1) Why does the D Schuster-Correll say ‘attitudes can change’?

Ans: This is because a large win temporarily stuns the winner causing them to have un clear judgements as they normally would and make unwise decisions on several aspects of life.

2) What are some of the negative affects of winning of the lottery?

Ans: Excessive drinking and smoking, health problems

3)Why did Roy Gibney fall out with members of his family?

Ans: They wanted more money

4) Why did Viv Nicholson vow to ‘spend’ ‘spend’ ‘spend’?

Ans: She said life is boring and nonsense. She had everything and wanted to do things her way.

5) Why does Micheal Carroll happier now that he has spent all of his money?

Ans: He finds it easier to live on job seekers allowance or he finds it easier to live on £42.

6) What is the key to happiness according to Roy Gibney?

Ans: The key thing is retaining a sensible head.

Do you think winning the lottery makes you happy?

Follow up task

1. Rags to riches role card

You are going to be interviewed by a journalist . Here are some of the main points you want to cover.

* You used to be very poor and worked very hard

* You have won the lottery and enjoying life

* Tell them how much you won

* You spent your money wisely

* You are buying lots of things and have your money invested in a successful businesses

* You have many women/men and children

* You are very happy

* You have lots of new friends

* Everyone loves you

Role card 2

You are going to be interviewed by a journalist from a news paper. Here are some of the main points you want to cover.

* You used to be very poor and worked very hard

* You have won the lottery and life is miserable

* Tell them how much you won

* You spent you money recklessly

* You have no investments

* Your wife/ husband ran off with another man/woman

* You have no friends except your dog

* No one likes you


Role card 3- Journalist

You are a journalist and you need to find out about the lottery:

* His/her name?

* His /her age?

* Does he/she have a family?

* How much he/she won?

* Where does /he/she live now and before?

* What did he/she do with the money?

* What is his /her life like?




David Riddell, Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Jim Scrivener, Learning Teaching, The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching


Edited Text Needed For The Task

By Finlo Rohrer 
BBC News Magazine

The case of the couple who won £56m on the EuroMillions raises an interesting question. Does winning a huge amount of money make you happy?
 The happiness it can bring is multiplied by a thousand times but it can bring heartache as well as people trying to rip you off  
Roy Gibney
Won £7.5m in 1998
Podcast on money and happiness
. Do they enjoy their windfalls? Or does their good fortune have the capacity to make them miserable, leaving them rudderless in a morass of luxury?
There have certainly been many winners who had their lives turned upside down by a big win. Relationships can break down under the strain, friendships can come under pressure. And the tabloids love nothing more than a winner who has frittered away all their money.

" Attitudes can change," says Dr Schuster-Cotterell.
"When one has a large win one is temporarily stunned and one doesn't have such clear judgement as one normally would, making unwise decisions on several aspects of life."
But for those who like to engage in Schadenfreude there is disappointing news from the studies that have been done on lottery winners, says Prof Andrew Oswald, of Warwick University.
"Although many people don't want to hear the evidence, it is overwhelmingly that winning the lottery makes you happier and improves your mental health. People find it easier to engage in Schadenfreude."
Prof Oswald's tactic has not been to study only lottery winners. Instead he has taken a massive sample, of 50,000 people, and studied them over time in the hope that lottery winners would crop up.

This week's £56m winners - happy now, and, say the studies, in the future


 There are some bad effects of a win, notably in someone's health.
"They start to smoke more and drink more," he says. "We think that may be bad for their health and hold down their happiness for a while."

 Life is boring and there is too much nonsense  
Former Pools winner Viv Nicholson
EuroMillions £56m win 'amazing'

Grimsby-born Roy Gibney won £7.5m in 1998 and says life is "absolutely marvellous". He lives in a villa in Cyprus with his wife and child much of the year, spending some time in Nairn and some in Grimsby. That is not to say that he is never unhappy.
"If you take a normal life everyone has ups and downs but multiply it by an awful lot. The happiness it can bring is multiplied by a thousand times but it can bring heartache as well as people trying to rip you off.
"Obviously, I've had my downs - family falling out with you because they want more money."
But the key thing is retaining a "sensible head", he says. His grown-up daughters had houses bought for them, but they still have to work.
"I won when I was 44 - it was the right age to win it."

Michael Carroll, who won £9.7m and spent it all
But ultimately he views his life as full of opportunities he would not otherwise have had.
"Me, my wife and son flew to New York a couple of days before Christmas. We couldn't have done that normally."
Many journalists have been to speak to Viv Nicholson, the woman who famously vowed to "spend, spend, spend" when she scooped £152,000 on the football pools in 1961.

"My experience was fantastic," says Mrs Nicholson. "I just had everything, did everything I wanted, things that I would never have had. I don't regret a thing. I did it my way. I live my life the way I wanted to."

"Life is boring and there is too much nonsense."

And for many people happiness is about enjoying their windfall while retaining their old friends and relationships.
"Their true friends are there for them," says Ms Renshaw.