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ByAdam Myles

Feb 21, 2024

Karma could come back to bite as new research by Paddy Power Bingo reveals that the UK truly is a superstitious nation, as 72% of Brits admit that they believe in good or bad luck – with women (31%) being more superstitious than their male (21%) counterparts.

Some things are just beyond belief, such as Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, or a certain ruling political party being re-elected this year. However, over a third (36%) of Brits have found themselves believing in superstitions due to experiencing a negative event after breaking one – yikes!

Superstitious rituals have become comforting little habits for many. The most common broken and practiced superstitions (traditionally associated with bad luck) that have unleashed negative karmic consequences on the nation in the last 12 months include, breaking a mirror (22%), crossing someone on the stairs (17%), seeing a black cat (15%), and knocking on wood (15%).

Brits have also used superstitions to prevent bad luck ahead of important life events, such as job interviews (22%), exams (18%) and even when supporting their favourite sports team (17%). Although, no amount of good luck could help Arsenal actually win the league or their north London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.

With almost a quarter of Brits (24%) admitting that they have experienced a moment of bad luck at least once a week, here are the top 5 unfortunate or unlucky moments voted by the nation:

Rank  Top 5 unluckiest moments 
Dropping phone or keys down a drain (46%)
Being pooed on by a bird (44%)
A vehicle splashing you with water in wet weather (43%)
Stepping in something disgusting (e.g. dog poo) (40%)
~ 5  Smashing your phone screen (35%)
~ 5  Getting locked out of your house (35%)

Interestingly, it appears that people aged between 18 to 24 (80%) are more likely to believe in luck than those aged 55+ (61%). In other news, it seems that good luck increases with age. Almost a quarter (24%) of those aged between 18 to 24 reported experiencing a moment of bad luck at least once a day, as opposed to only 6% of those aged 55+.

Paddy Power Bingo spokesperson Rachael Kane said: “We all like to think of ourselves as rational human beings but given the fact that 36% of Brits report experiencing negative consequences for ignoring a superstition, we might be wise to consider the karmic cost of our actions.

Our findings also suggest that luck improves with age, with younger people four times more likely to experience bad luck compared to those aged over 55 – so at least that’s something to look forward to…along with our pensions.”