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Getting lucky – half still believe in superstitions like crossing fingers and dodging cracks in the pavement

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Half of Brits believe old superstitions such as keeping your fingers crossed and not walking under ladders DO bring them good luck, a new survey has shown. Researchers, who carried out a detailed study among 2000 adults, found that over a third would describe themselves as ‘lucky’, and put their good fortune down to adhering to rules such as never stepping on cracks in pavements and throwing spilt salt over their shoulder.

Four-leaf clovers were revealed as our most trusted lucky charm, with four in ten putting faith in their luck-giving properties, whilst 35% have trusted in a birthday wish when blowing out candles.

A surprising one in five people even claim to have experienced good luck after a bird pooed on them, the poll by Paddy Power Bingo found.

Other things Brits put their faith in to bring good fortune include blowing on dice before they roll them, always choosing the lucky number seven and making a wish when discovering a lost eyelash.

On the contrary – smashing mirrors, leaving the Christmas decorations up too long and putting an umbrella up indoors were all believed to bring misfortune.

A spokeswoman for Paddy Power Bingo, who commissioned the survey, said:

“This research shows that even in this modern technological age people still put their faith in superstition and ritual to nail that exam, impress on that date or have a winning streak on the Bingo”

“It seems use Brits will use any and all means to get lucky!”

The research also showed that good luck charms proved most popular surrounding nerve-wracking events, with four in ten paying more attention to superstitions before a job interview.

Exams and tests were another good reason, whilst a fifth of Brits use them to improve their chances when playing the lottery or bingo.

One in ten optimistic parents to-be have tried a lucky ritual when trying to get pregnant, whilst a further 20% felt a need to be superstitious whilst attending a wedding.

Researchers also found that whilst many will chase a good luck charm, they will equally avoid a bad omen.

Crossing on the stairs, putting new shoes on the table and walking over cracks in the pavement were all things respondents were keen to avoid.

And a fifth of adults will fret over bad luck coming their way if they forget to salute a solo magpie.

The survey showed that Friday 13th is still intimidating to many, as a wary 48% admitted to taking more care to avoid bad luck omens – though over half labelled the traditionally unlucky day as ‘nonsense’.

Getting lucky ranked as important when it comes to romance, as one in ten singles perform good luck rituals when getting ready for a date.

The supposedly fail-safe customs included spritzing a trusted perfume or cologne before meeting a potential love interest whilst one in three will listen to songs they believe to be a good omen.

Seemingly trying anything to get lucky in love, over a third will put on a lucky pair of underwear – though over half admitted it hadn’t always worked.

When asked about which areas of life they’re luckiest in, one in four adults claimed to receive the best luck in their family matters, but less fortunate when it came to money and finances.

An unfortunate 17% admitted they receive the worst luck in love over anything else.

A staggering six in ten think some people are just born luckier than others, though only 18% believe they were one of these blessed babies.

A gloomy fifth of adults believe they’re unluckier than the norm, with most blaming fate for their misfortune.

Others put their bad luck down to their own pessimistic attitude, whilst a blameless 17% think they must have been cursed.

The spokeswoman added:

“It’s funny that we all have our lucky rituals before going on dates, we certainly believe in the power of a good pair of lucky pants and know our Bingo punters would celebrate traditionally lucky happenings such as an unexpected drop of bird poo”


  1. Four leaf clovers
  2. Crossing fingers
  3. Wishing when blowing out candles
  4. Finding a penny
  5. Something old, new, borrowed and blue on your wedding day
  6. A shooting star
  7. Seeing a black cat
  8. Making a wish on a wishbone
  9. Bird mess landing on you
  10. Money spiders


  1. Smashing a mirror
  2. Walking under a ladder
  3. Putting up an umbrella indoors
  4. Putting shoes on the table
  5. Leaving up Christmas decorations for too long
  6. Passing someone on the stairs
  7. Not touching wood
  8. Spilling salt
  9. Walking over cracks in the pavement
  10. Not saluting a magpie