Want good luck? 37% would let a bird poop on them!

LONDON — One in five people consider themselves to be unlucky. A survey of 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom reveals that 25 percent have done one of the unluckiest things you can do — step in dog poop. Another 24 percent have experienced the misfortune of spilling food on a clean set of clothes, and 22 percent frequently find themselves sitting at traffic lights all the time.

Other incidents contributing to a sense of misfortune include being splashed by a car driving through a puddle, losing competitions, and having their packages go missing in the mail. Surprisingly, five percent also say bad luck plays a role in missing their stop on public transportation.

Meanwhile, 26 percent of respondents have never had a bird poop on them, however 37 percent would actually welcome it — believing it to signify impending good luck!

Despite these mishaps, 45 percent reject the adage that “bad luck comes in threes.” On average, adults experience a staggering 543 unlucky events annually, with a third reporting they’ve experienced bad luck in just the past week alone.

“It’s surprising to see so many people in the U.K. consider themselves unlucky. Although we’re a very pragmatic nation by nature, there certainly seems to be a fair amount of superstition still in us – especially when it comes to things like breaking mirrors, stepping over grates and under ladders,” says a spokesperson for Lottoland.co.uk, which commissioned the study, in a statement.

“Perhaps the most surprising is the sheer number of people hoping to be targeted by bird droppings in order to increase their luck. We certainly wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”

Woman crossing her fingers for good luck and great expectations
A survey of 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom reveals that 25 percent have done one of the unluckiest things you can do — step in dog poop. (Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash)

The study further revealed that 41 percent of respondents believe luck is self-made, yet certain actions, such as breaking a mirror, walking under a ladder, and opening an umbrella indoors, are widely considered to lead to misfortune. These beliefs are closely followed by superstitions like placing shoes on a table, the occurrence of Friday the 13th, and crossing paths on the stairs.

Conversely, finding a penny or a four-leaf clover is viewed as auspicious, and being born in a leap year is also thought to bring good luck.

Moreover, according to the data from OnePoll, one in 10 people believe they encounter more luck during a leap year.

“It’s interesting to see the leap year is still a lucky omen for so many. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for jackpot winners this Feb. 29th,” the spokesperson for Lottoland.co.uk adds. “And for those people who believe the leap year brings good luck all year round, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for good things in 2024.”

Top 30 Unluckiest Events:

  1. Losing things
  2. Stepping in dog poo
  3. Spilling food or drink down clean clothing
  4. Traffic lights always turn red when you approach them
  5. Getting a flat tire
  6. Being splashed by a car going through a puddle while walking
  7. Losing competitions
  8. Tripping in public
  9. The item you really wanted on a food menu being unavailable
  10. Getting caught in the rain without an umbrella
  11. Missing a package delivery
  12. Someone else parking in a space you were driving towards
  13. Getting the wrong numbers on scratch cards
  14. Spilling toothpaste down your clothes
  15. A stranger sitting next to you on public transport when there are free seats
  16. Accidentally touching wet paint
  17. Breaking a mirror
  18. Stepping on a loose paving slab causing water to splash up
  19. Sitting down on a wet seat without realizing
  20. Dropping a long-awaited meal on the floor
  21. Paper jamming in a printer
  22. Missing the trash can when trying to throw something out
  23. Stepping on chewing gum
  24. Receiving the incorrect order when online shopping
  25. Always missing your bus or train
  26. Never getting tickets for a concert or show before they sell out
  27. Falling down the stairs in public
  28. Putting socks on which have holes in them
  29. Repeatedly burning food
  30. Burning yourself with hair straighteners

72Point writer Charlotte Minett contributed to this report.