Those living in the South East are happier to win a cash prize than find love than anywhere else in the country, according to new research.
It seems people in the region are becoming increasingly materialistic, with scooping a cash or material prize making us happier than the butterflies of meeting that special someone, a survey for Meccabingo.com reveals.
Scooping a financial win or material prize in a competition gives residents of the South East just as big a sense of fulfilment, if not more, than some of the key winning moments in life, from passing personal milestones and progressing up the career ladder.
Psychologist Donna Dawson said: “With winning monetary prizes making residents of the South East happier than winning love in the happiness stakes, it seems that we are becoming an increasingly materialistic nation, placing a higher value on winning a reward or prize than a winning moment in life.
“There is no denying though the joy that ‘winning brings’, whether it’s the buzz of love, scooping a material prize or passing one of life’s milestones.
“What happens in the brain when we win is the release of a feel-good chemical called dopamine, which not only makes us feel aroused, alert, and happy, but also encourages us to continue the ‘winning’ behaviour.
“Winning makes us feel successful in life; we feel better about ourselves and approved of by others.
“This, in turn, has a knock-on effect: our happiness makes it easier to deal more positively with others, who in turn react more positively to us.
“And so ‘winning’ has a definite ‘win-win’ affect both for ourselves and for those around us.”
Winning a holiday or other life experience made over 59% of those questioned “very happy”, booking a well-earned holiday (56%), getting a bonus at work (56%) and a tax rebate (53%).
When it comes to winning at life achievements, gaining good exam results made over half of those in the South East “very happy”, getting a job (52%), being reunited with a member of the family after a long time apart (50%) and getting a brand new car (44%).
Far from being bashful, those in the South East love feeling special when winning and enjoy receiving attention, showing off to friends and boasting on social media.
Out of the entire country, South East residents find missing out on attention the worst aspect of losing, with 6% of the region finding this frustrating.
The good news is that very few of those in the South East, just 8%, go through life without ever winning anything, compared to the seemingly unlucky North West, where 12% have never won anything.
The survey also highlighted a number of differences between the sexes and age groups when it comes to winning.
Such as; women are happier to see their friends win the prize and not themselves, whereas men would rather win the prize themselves; people aged 18-24 are 25% more likely to tell their friends and family straight after winning compared to those aged 55+; those aged 55+ (61%) continue to enjoy the excitement of winning for between two – four days, compared with 50% of those aged between 45 - 54; 25-34 year olds (14%) are the most likely to share the news of their win on social media.
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