We bet you didn't see this one coming. Not even with a high-zoom lens.
Florida residents are happy. Really happy.
So happy, the state ranks as the third happiest in the nation, according to a Centers For Disease Control and Prevention survey that accumulated four years worth of data from 1.3 million people who participated in the poll.
Now in case you have rushed to your dictionary to reassure yourself that you know what the word "happiness" means, here were the criteria.
First off, the study began before the housing and real-estate crash and before unemployment numbers shot through the roof in the state. It also is apparent that pollsters tried to stay away from Miami city limits at all costs.
Now we can understand Hawaii, but is Louisiana really the happiest place in the U.S.? Really?
Maybe they didn't poll hurricane victims. Oh right, it would have been hard to get to them through all the floor waters and displacement.
Economist Andrew Oswald urged a bit of caution in Louisiana's ranking, noting that part of the happiness survey occurred before Hurricane Katrina struck the state, and part of it took place later. Nevertheless, he said, "We have no explicit reason to think there is a problem" with the ranking.
So happiness also seems to be synonymous with being a hurricane victim, or why else would Florida and the Bayou State top the list?
In case you were wondering, New York was the most unhappy state. So if you're in an Empire State of mind then you're likely in the dumps.
Sounds about right.