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12 March 2015

Do You Feel Lucky? Well, Do You? [Lottoland Exclusive]

Survey Asks – “How Superstitious Are The British?”

How superstitious are the British? Not only is it an interesting question, it also rhymes! Well, we’ve done our homework! Our boffins at Lottoland HQ have conducted a broad survey throughout the nation to discover just how superstitious Britain actually is. The results not only make for some interesting reading, they’re an ideal conversation topic for a round of drinks with friends.  

Survey Asks – “How Superstitious Are The British?”

So, how superstitious are you? Well, statistically-speaking that all depends on where you live. What we’ve found is that the country is divided diagonally with people in the North East being generally the least superstitious while the South West is the most.

Those who live in Wales and the South West of England are, according to our study, far more likely to be influenced by superstition, horoscopes and dreams to the point where they will change their plans.

We asked a broad cross-section of UK citizens what they felt the most superstitious about, and what superstitious events or beliefs would be most likely to cause them to change or affect their plans. Chief among these were a 'premonition of bad news' and 'being an unlucky person'.

The Writing’s On The Wall

Overall we polled a total of 2,218 adults evenly distributed throughout Britain and from various different backgrounds to ensure the results were as broad reaching but unbiased as possible.

Although only 33% of people admitted to being superstitious in our survey, the behaviour patterns we uncovered suggested that the phenomenon was far more widespread.

We first asked, “Do you consider yourself to be superstitious?” To which a resounding majority of people – a full 67% – responded no.

This is hardly surprising in and of itself; openly admitting to being superstitious, irrational or otherwise impractical is not very British. After all, Britain is a nation built on the principals of the stiff upper lip, not hocus pocus.

Still, everybody at some point exhibits behaviour that can only be explained by superstition. I consider myself to be a non-superstitious person, yet I always walk around ladders. And I imagine that even the self-anointed pope of rationality Richard Dawkins probably has one or two such foibles he’d rather the world not know about. Would he really walk under a ladder, for example, or would he go around it?

Simply saying you’re not superstitious is hardly rock-solid research, so we started digging deeper. Next we asked our group what specific superstitions they believed in, as well as any premonitions and portentous dreams they had, impactful horoscopes they read, and so on, before moving to our next question: “Have you ever changed plans based on a horoscope, superstition or dream?”

The results below represent the percentage of those who had answered yes.

  • South West - 63%
  • Wales- 57%
  • South East- 51%
  • North West - 49%
  • Scotland - 44%
  • London - 38%
  • West Midlands- 33%
  • East Midlands - 29%
  • Northern Ireland - 24%
  • East of England- 21%
  • Yorkshire & Humberside - 17%
  • North East - 11%

The next question was a straightforward follow-up – “why?”

And the top answer? “Having a dream or horoscope that predicted bad news” – something which 37% of all Britons surveyed admitted caused them to change their plans.

In second place at 26% was “I'm an unlucky person” while 14% admitted to fear of “untimely death/injury.”

As Luck Would Have It…

Whilst superstitions and horoscopes are commonly seen as meaningless or futile, our research has shown that a lot of Britons' thinking is not as straightforward as that, and many allow fate or destiny to affect their decision-making regularly.

I have to admit that I was a bit shocked at the number of respondents who admitted to changing plans based on something they'd read, dreamt or predicted, especially when so few admitted to being superstitious in the first place.

The likelihood of being able to predetermine your fate is, of course, very slim, but Britons are clearly letting it dictate their plans. If I were being truthful, I'd say there's more chance of winning the lottery that being able to foresee your future accurately!

Do You Feel Lucky?

While the research we’ve conducted does point to strong superstitious tendencies let’s not forget that Britain is best known for its tenacity and resolve, rather than a belief in fate and luck. That's why you’ll never hear anyone talk about “The Luck Of The British”.

Right now there’s £18 million up for grabs in tomorrow’s EuroMillions jackpot.  Only snag is tomorrow is Friday the 13th – a date people generally associate with bad luck. Yet, as we’ve shown, thirteen is actually a very lucky lottery number so, whether you’re the superstitious type or not, it’s still the ideal time to bet on EuroMillions.

Still on the fence about that one? Ok, we’ve also got something even luckier coming up – so grab yourself a fistful of shamrocks and keep a look out for our lucky Saint Patrick’s Day promotion. We’ll be publishing details on this next week here and on our Facebook page