Close only counts in horseshoes

close only counts in horseshoes (and hand grenades)

Being nearly successful or accurate is not the same as being successful or accurate; being close to achieving something does not provide any benefit. It doesn't matter that we only lost the game by two points—we still lost! And close only counts in horseshoes. A: "You should be proud that you came so close to being valedictorian." B: "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades."
See also: close, count, hand, horseshoe

Close only counts in horseshoes (and hand grenades).

Prov. Coming close but not succeeding is not good enough. I came close to winning the election, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
See also: close, count, horseshoe
References in periodicals archive ?
I very nearly made it into heaven, but as all the living know: close only counts in horseshoes and sex.
Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, some say.