America's Happiest Person Found! :) :) :)

Emily Abbate
9

smiling menFor the last three years, Gallup has hunted down called up 1,000 random American adults daily to ask them about their eating habits, illnesses, stress levels, and emotional status in an effort to measure components of "the good life." And throughout their quest, they were able to narrow down the specifics that make someone smiley, and in turn, locate THE happiest person in America.

Yup, ONE person. Wanna know some more about this person? Well ... first things first, it's a he. Yup. Mr. Smiley Face himself. Can't say I was too surprised to find out that men are generally happier then women. But after that, things get interesting. What's America's happiest man have on the rest of us to make him so damn jolly? Let's see if you can guess -- here's a little quiz:

America's happiest man is:

  • White
  • Black
  • Asian
  • Hispanic
  • Middle Eastern

When it comes to America's happiest man and height, he is:

  • Short
  • Average
  • Tall

America's happiest man is religious -- what faith is he?

  • Catholic
  • Baptist
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Athiest

Does this chipper fellow have kids?

  • Yes
  • No

And how old are we talking here? Do the youngins get to have all the fun?

  • 18 - 30
  • 31 - 50
  • 50 - 65
  • 65+

Ready for a reality slap? According to the survey, the happiest man is at least 65 years old and tall, Asian-American, an observant Jew, married, has a household income of more than $120,000 a year, AND runs his own business. Wow. Pretty specific, eh?

After a few phone calls, The New York Times found this man. His name? Alvin Wong. Wong fits Gallup's credentials to a T. At 69 years old, Wong runs his own health care management business, makes more than $120,000 a year, and lives in Honolulu with his wife and kids. Oh, and he keeps Kosher. Mazel tov! His life philosophy, as told to The Times: "If you can't laugh at yourself, life is going to be pretty terrible for you."

Of course I have a bit of animosity toward this man. It just seems like he's got it all together. Perhapppps it's because he's living in Hawaii and my idea of "the good life" involves the same sun he sees every day, the waves he drives by on the way to work, and the palm trees that line his walkways.

But really ... it's hard to hate this guy for being, well, happy with his life. Sure, people like you and me could relocate and move to sunshiny waters. I could even go back to school and get my masters in business administration, start my own company, and live "happily ever after." But what's the fun in that? If being a 20-something Jewish woman in a long-distance relationship commuting to-and-from New York City doesn't qualify me as THE happiest person in America, well ... it doesn't mean I'm not actually happy. In fact, maybe the definition of happiness for you and me is different than Gallup's. I don't know about you, but I'm OK with that.

Were you surprised to learn about America's happiest man? Do you think Gallup hit the nail on the head?


Images (clockwise starting from top left) via Sukanto Debnath/Flickr, bddemir/Flickr, Josh Pesavento (broma)/Flickr, CarbonNYC/Flickr, Frerieke/Flickr

Read More