I never lose. Either I win or I learn.
We played our monthly home bingo game tonight and I hosted. Fried chicken, potato chips and Oreo cookies for dinner. All the food groups, if you include the chocolate and popcorn on the game table.
Our core group is eight or nine players every month. Today we were a few regulars short, and Jeanette’s 8-year old grandson played along. He caught on pretty quickly and ended up winning the grand prize of $15 at the end of the night.
The group started playing bingo several years ago and we bring two $10 gifts, usually pertaining to a theme of the host’s choice. I picked “something red” and the gifts included Target cards, a bottle of Pinot Grigio, a red ceramic “thing” that everyone was fighting over.
My goal every month is to maybe go home with two $10 gifts, equal to the two I brought with me. I don’t always meet that goal, of course, and that’s fine. Every month usually ends with someone luckily going home with three or four gifts. This month, however, was a little different. I didn’t win anything tonight. I went home empty-handed.
Logically, I know it happens often. I turned to Google to find out about winning and losing. This is just a little $20 bingo habit, not being nominated for a Nobel prize. But I found some interesting facts.
In football and in life, whenever we lose, we try to be stoic, and console ourselves with brave thoughts about lessons learned, about how we played the game. Because, as the saying goes, winning isn’t EVERYTHING. Fine. Then again, suppose it IS?
According to psychology professor Ian Robertson of Trinity College in Dublin, “Winning’s probably the single most important thing in shaping people’s lives.” Winning can determine your health and your mood. It’s so much fun to win and you feel better, and it seems, you may even live longer.
It turns out Nobel Prize winners outlive the also-brilliant Nobel nominees by roughly two years. Baseball players who make it into the Hall of Fame have a couple of years on players who are turned away. Academy Award winners live, on average, four years longer than other actors. Actors who win Oscars can command more money for their next film. A scientist who wins a Nobel Prize will be able to be hired by any university in the world.
Now, of course, I am certainly not comparing winning a bingo game with winning an Oscar, but I think that if I had won something tonight, I might have been invited to teach at the local university.