California Charm: Is San Diego the Luckiest City in the U.S.?

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San Diego: the luckiest city in the U.S. Highly photogenic, too.

In an economy where many seem to be perpetually down on their luck, we needed to hear some good news.

If you’re seeking that shining light – both the one at the end of that dark economic tunnel, and, well, actual sunlight – Men’s Health would advise you to look to the lucky locals living in San Diego.

The magazine didn’t look at the sociological factors of luck, though – presumably because things like unemployment and climate are highly dependent on where you live. Instead they focused on the true harbingers of luck – the randomly awesome or awful occurrences in life. The luckiest are the lottery winners and hole-in-one scorers. The unluckiest are those struck by lightning and perpetual lottery losers. Sounds fair, right?

And the results paint an optimistic picture. Scoring top marks were both San Diego and Baltimore. “San Diego’s multiple jackpot winners, its low lightning strike count, and its low number of lightning-related injuries and deaths helped push it to the top,” David Zinczenko, Men’s Health editor in chief told Reuters.

(LIST: The Cleanest Cities in the U.S.)

San Diego’s luck keeps flooding in, too. In September, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked the Southern California city as the seventh best place to live in America. With poverty and unemployment rates below the national average, it certainly is sunny in San Diego – both in disposition and in actual climate.

Second place in the Men’s Health poll was Baltimore, who failed to chart in the Bloomberg rankings. The Maryland city counts 25.6% of residents in poverty, proving that the city may have gotten lucky indeed in the Men’s Health rankings. But overall, the top 10 luckiest cities were spread across the nation, proving there’s no one winningest corner of the country to hole up in.

So who made the top 10?

  1. San Diego, Calif.
  2. Baltimore, Md.
  3. Phoenix, Ariz.
  4. Wilmington, Del.
  5. Richmond, Va.
  6. San Francisco, Calif.
  7. Las Vegas, Nev.
  8. Philadelphia, Pa.
  9. Louisville, Ky.
  10. Reno, Nev.

A fair warning to Sin City gamblers: you won’t all be incredibly lucky. But at least you have a better shot than the 10 lovable losers out of the top 100 metros in the U.S.

  1. Charleston, W.V.
  2. Tampa, Fla.
  3. Jackson, Miss.
  4. Memphis, Tenn.
  5. Sioux Falls, S.D.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

READ: Where Is America’s Most Dangerous City?

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