Princeton, WV, December 29, 2011 -- Although television producers dub them biggest “losers,” Mercer County Schools prefers to call them what they are – “winners.”   The contest, now in Year 3, begins again January 3rdtffx with weigh-ins to be conducted by school nurses at each work location.

articipants will have three months to shed the Christmas cookies and eggnog from the holidays before weighing-out on March 29th.

According to Assistant Superintendent Rick Ball, the idea originated with the county’s Wellness Council.  “They thought the similarly-named television series and team dynamic would motivate employees to shed pounds and adopt new fitness goals.”

Each participant pays a nominal fee which provides trophies and gift certificates for the winners. 

Last year, a total of 144 participants in 15 locations took the challenge.  Physical Plant and warehouse employees won the contest (and the biggest kitty) by losing an average 22.8 pounds. 

According to Student Services Coordinator Tom Chaffins, the percentage of weight lost by the team, however, not the total pounds lost, determines the winner.