Winner is a city located in Tripp County with a total population of 3,137. It’s the county seat of Tripp County and also serves as the administrative center of neighboring Todd County, which does not have its’ own county seat. Winner is located in the farm and ranch country of south central South Dakota. Tripp County is a hunting paradise for sportsmen. Open prairie, wooded creeks and rolling hills provide the habitat for game with rivers, stock dams, and lakes offering quality fishing. State management programs such as depredations and stocking insure the hunter’s success. Visitors will find Winner halfway between Sioux Falls and Rapid City at the intersection of Highways 44 and 18. The municipal airport has two runways, the longest of which is 4,500 feet of concrete surface.
Winner was part of the famous Louisiana Purchase of 1803, and later part of the Dakota Territory, established by an act of Congress and a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Winner was so named because it was the “winner” in the struggle to establish a town along the railroad right-of-way when the Chicago North Western began moving west from Dallas, SD in 1909. At first Lamro, which was then the county seat, was believed to have the best chance but the railroad survey missed the established township by only two miles and immediately a new town originated and was given the name Winner.
Recreation / Community Activities
The success of the Pheasant in Tripp County has made this area famous for excellent hunting. Populations have grown to abundance. Other game birds available in the area include grouse, partridge, prairie chicken, dove, and turkey. Mature spring gobblers weighing up to 25 pounds are baggable. Big game such as trophy Whitetail and Mule Deer, along with Antelope roam the prairie. Many rivers and stock dams meander and dot the prairie holding large numbers of quality game fish. Species included are: Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and Crappie, all of which are in season year round.
For the predator and rodent hunters, increasing numbers of both have led to excellent and welcomed hunting pressure. Hunters employing calling and decoying techniques are particularly successful for coyote. Tournaments and bounties are available periodically for coyote, fox, skunk, along with prairie dog.
Over 300 businesses are active in the Winner community. The Winner School district is rated level 1 by the South Dakota Division of Education with the High School accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and High Schools. Winner is home to a Regional Healthcare Center and two modern assisted living centers. Recent improvements in the city include a new main street, a new 4,500 ft. concrete runway at the airport, and a new Fire Hall / Ambulance building facility with training room.
- Winner Chamber of Commerce