COUNTY NEWS: Money can buy you happiness in South East

They say money cannot buy you love. However, finding a soul mate does not seem to be a priority for South East residents when research indicated that those living in the region would prefer to win a cash prize than win in love.

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New research shows people in the South East 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 revealed.

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.

Winning a holiday or other life experience made over 59 per cent of those questioned ‘very happy’, booking a well-earned holiday (56 per cent), getting a bonus at work (56 per cent) and a tax rebate (53 per cent).

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 per cent), being reunited with a member of the family after a long time apart (50 per cent) and getting a brand new car (44 per cent).

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 per cent of the region finding this frustrating.

The good news is that very few of those in the South East, just 8 per cent, go through life without ever winning anything, compared to the seemingly unlucky North West, where 12 per cent have never won anything.

The survey also highlighted a number of differences between the sexes and age groups when it comes to winning:

• Women are happier to see their friends win the prize and not themselves, whereas men would rather win the prize themselves

• People aged 18 to 24 are 25 per cent more likely to tell their friends and family straight after winning compared to those aged 55 plus

• Those aged 55 plus (61 per cent) continue to enjoy the excitement of winning for between two to four days, compared with 50 per cent of those aged between 45 to 54

• 25 to 34 year-olds (14 per cent) are the most likely to share the news of their win on social media

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.”

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