“Winning too often is as disastrous as losing too often. Both get the same results: the falling off of the public’s enthusiasm.”
It was Knut Rockne, the legendary football coach at the University of Notre Dame, who said, “Winning too often is as disastrous as losing too often. Both get the same results: the falling off of the public’s enthusiasm.” It’s a wry statement, but beyond the humor, Rockne’s observation underscores the fine line between winning and losing and between winners and losers. The science of winning is interesting and has begun to illustrate that who wins and who loses is not strictly coded in our genes, nor is it God playing with dice. It’s about when and how we take risks, which does involve some hard wiring, as well as some external pressures from the environment. Keep reading to learn more about winning and winners.
Winning can mean many things, but to many people, it means winning the lottery. And this is true even though winning a lottery is not easy — and doesn’t automatically lead to an easier life. If you don’t believe it, consider these facts: the odds of winning a typical Powerball jackpot remain 1 in 292 million; if you do win, assuming it’s a prize over $5,000, the IRS will take 24 percent of the prize; and, finally, a 2004 study found that 85.5 percent of American winners continued to work after winning the lottery.
So, you might think twice before you invest in those weekly lottery tickets. But if you decide to play, you should pay attention to where you live. Data suggests that certain states are luckier than others. (Can you say Hoosier, anyone?)
Ever wonder which sporting events attract the most viewers? Although you might be thinking Super Bowl or the so-called World Series, not one of the top 10 most-watched events is American.
Winning isn’t just for athletes, of course. Some of the most famous — and prestigious — awards in the world are the prizes established by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor, engineer, scientist and businessman who also wrote poetry and drama. Nobel’s many interests are reflected in the prize he established in 1895 when he wrote his last will, specifying that the bulk of his fortune should be used to recognize “those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind” in the categories of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace (economic sciences was added much later in tribute to Nobel). The Nobel Foundation provides a wealth of information about prizes and prize winners on its website, including an inspiring video, “Women Who Changed the World” highlighting the achievements of women around the world who have been awarded a prize.