I was reading through some Yahoo headlines, when one in the sports section caught my eye, basically talking about how a poker player who won a $15 million jackpot had the opposite reaction that pretty much anybody would expect.
Most people, upon knowing that they are $15 million richer, would celebrate, yell, jump up and down, thank God, hug their family, or any number of things.
Daniel Coleman, the 23 year old winner of the ‘Big One For One Drop' tournament, didn't even crack a smile.
In fact, he almost looked sad and upset once he won.
The Big Picture
Most winners of a $15 million jackpot would stop and start right there. They just won $15 million dollars, end of story, right?
Not Daniel Coleman.
As it turns out, his thoughts on the winning was not the money that went into his pocket, but beyond that.
His thoughts also included the people who didn't win. The people who lost money along the way to get there.
Not everybody in poker wins. In fact, most people probably lose. People lose money. People lose their families, their homes, their jobs. Many people chase the dream of winning the big jackpot, and sacrifice everything to get there, only to end up with nothing.
Daniel Coleman saw that. He knew that, although he was the big winner, there were many others that weren't. Hundreds. Thousands. Nobody was covering them or putting a microphone in their face. Nobody cared about the expression on their faces or what they were going to do with the money that they had (or no longer had).
That bothered him. He couldn't knowingly celebrate the fact that he was the lucky one knowing that there were so many others out there who weren't as lucky, or lucky at all.
Seriously, what person who has ever received $15 million dollars has ever had that as their first emotion?
Now his point wasn't that poker should halt. He didn't say that jackpots should cease to exist. Heck, he's not giving his back. I think he just recognizes that in order for one person to get there, there's a toll, a cost, and probably a pretty big one, that nobody really thinks about. He recognized that and his conscious would not let him just put that aside so that he could celebrate.
We love to celebrate the winners, but who in the world thinks about the losers when a $15 million jackpot is being won?
Daniel Coleman, that's who.
In my book, that makes him a pretty big winner.