The World’s Luckiest Countries
- Number of Summer Olympic Gold medals
- Number of total Winter & Summer Olympic Gold medals
- Number of Sporting Achievements
- Average amount of Rainfall (mm depth per year)
- Number of Reality Show winners
- Largest Lottery Win Amount
- Lucky Charm in the country
Some people seem to get the best luck. But how does it differ by country? Where are you most likely to win competitions and lotteries? Bonne chance!
1 United Kingdom
Despite the grey drizzle and London fog, the UK wins more competitions in sports and television per person than anywhere else in the world.
2 United States
The US holds the world record for biggest lottery win, with a massive $1.5 billion jackpot – though it was split across three winners, so each only won $530 million.
For the Ancient Romans, dolphins were a symbol of luck – and they were the ones to invent pasta and pizza, so the population are clearly doing pretty well.
Despite being quite poisonous, the spring-blooming flower lily of the valley is a source of good luck in France, and 1st May is La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day).
Japan’s good luck figurine is familiar the world over – the gold or ceramic waving cat is known as a “Maneki-Neko” and is often found in the windows or entrances of businesses.
In Ancient Egypt, scarabs were considered to be good luck, and jewellery and ornaments designed to look like them were extremely popular, for both the rich and the poor.
In Germany, pigs are often considered symbols of good luck, and marzipan pigs called Glücksschwein (“luck pig”) are given as gifts at New Year’s.
Probably rooted in Hindu culture, elephants (associated with the Hindu god Ganesh) are seen as symbols of good luck. It must work, because India has one of the highest number of reality show winners per capita.
In Turkey, the “evil eye“, a curse given through a malevolent glare, was considered a real danger. The nazar, an amulet or bead resembling an eye, serves to protect against it, and so is thought to bring good luck.
Sometimes called “Bozhya korovka” (“God’s little cow”), ladybirds are sometimes considered to be lucky in Russia, and a popular children's rhyme exists, asking the ladybird to fly to the sky and bring back bread.
Not dissimilar from a chimera, the Persian (ancient Iran) “Simurg” was thought to be a benevolent guardian figure, which would bring purification and fertility. It looked like a scaly cross between a dog, a peacock, and a lion.
12 South Africa
While not a frequent winner of any major sporting titles, South Africa boasts a small number of reality TV shows available for its residents to win, as well as beautiful, sunny summers.
Much like Turkey, Ethiopia considers the evil eye to be a source of bad luck. There is a handful of reality TV shows to be won, however, and they have more Olympic medals than Pakistan and India put together.
If you’re a strong believer in luck, you might want to be mindful in Mexico – an itchy palm is a sign of good fortune coming your way, but scratching it makes the luck disappear.
Breaking a glass is good luck in Pakistan. It does have to be unintentional, however, so rather than smashing up your cupboards, you might want to simply leave your drink close to the edge of the table.
While X Factor hasn’t made it to Nigeria, Big Brother Nigeria and Nigeria’s Got Talent are ongoing – the winners clearly haven’t been scratching their palms, because like Pakistan, it’s a sign of imminent wealth.
Because the Chinese words for “red bat” sound the same as “enormous blessings”, the animal has come to symbolise good fortune, and often appears in Chinese designs.
The “figa” is a clenched fist with a thumb between the second and third finger. It is thought to keep away bad fortune – including the evil eye – and amulets depicting it are often given as gifts.
Bound up in royal history, white elephants are considered a sign of good fortune. Once discovered, they are assigned a grading and offered to the king as a gift.
Bagua mirrors are popular in Vietnam – mirrors hung on the front door of the home in order to deflect and dispel negative energy, following the traditions of Feng Shui.
Polka dots supposedly symbolise coins, which are then emblems of wealth. Wearing clothes depicting polka dots, therefore, is supposed to bring wealth and fortune.
Rudraksha nuts from the Rudraksh tree are believed to be an incarnation of Bhagwan Shiva, one of the five forms of God in the Smarta tradition. Wearing one as jewellery is thought to bring health and respect.