St. Patrick's Day: Do You Believe in Luck?

Hailey Campbell Updated:
St. Patrick's Day: Do You Believe in Luck?

Luck is a phenomenon which millions of people around the world experience — or do they? Those of us who believe in it hope to encounter more good luck than bad, whether it be via supernatural folklore or age-old lucky phrases. From purchasing lucky charms (in both trinket and cereal form), expressing luck-related idioms, or even participating in lucky superstitions, the opportunities are endless.

Lucky superstitions aren’t new to Canada or the United States, as many Canadians and Americans have participated in a superstition or two throughout their lives. Who hasn’t crossed their fingers while hoping for the best possible outcome? Or wished upon a shooting star when that rare opportunity presented itself? Or even knocked on wood as an anti-jinx mechanism? Sometimes the stakes are too high to risk not trying out a lucky superstition, just in case there is some truth behind it.

Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday synonymous with luck, we surveyed 2,000 Canadians and 2,000 Americans to see if they consider themselves lucky — and what type of superstitions they believe in or practice. Here’s what we found.

St. Patrick's Day Do You Believe in Luck?

Do you believe in luck?

For our study, we asked 2,000 Canadians and 2,000 Americans the following question: “Do you believe in luck?” As expected, the majority of Canadians and Americans are believers.

In Canada, 64% of folks believe in luck. It turns out Ontario’s residents believe in luck more than any other province or territory (72%). British Columbia comes in at a close second (71%) and Alberta finishes in third (69%). The province that believes in luck the least is Manitoba (51%). However, at least half of all residents in each province or territory believe in luck.

Across the border, almost three quarters of Americans (71%) are luck believers — a rate about 11% higher than their neighbors to the north. The US state that believes in luck the most is the badger state, Wisconsin (77%). Tied for second at 76% are both Kansas and Indiana, while Pennsylvania came in a close third (75%). The state that believes in luck the least is South Dakota, where only 38% of residents believe in luck. In a substantial 20% of US states, fewer than half of residents say they believe in luck.

Overall, a majority of people in both countries believe in luck; which means there’s a high probability that they also trust, or even participate in, luck-related superstitions.

St. Patrick's Day lucky superstitions

Superstitious? Or just a little stitious?

Great news! A huge majority of Canadians and Americans do consider themselves lucky people. In fact, a whopping 88% of Canadians and even greater 91% of Americans say they have good luck.

“Fingers crossed!” “Make a wish!” “Knock on wood!” You’ve heard these common lucky phrases before, and probably tried out some of these superstitions as well in hopes of earning some good luck of your own. To find out even more, our respondents were asked about superstitions to find out which are most popular in each country.

Having a lucky number in Canada is the most common superstition amongst residents. Whether your lucky number is 7 or something else, you’ll be in good company with 51% of Canadians. The second most common superstition in Canada is beginner’s luck (46%) — which some believe is a common phenomenon when trying a new game or sport for the first time. Next, 45% like to make a wish when tossing a coin into a fountain, a customary superstition whose origins can be found in Rome. Knocking on wood to prevent any chance of bad luck is common place for 40% of Canadians, while 36% believe good fortune can come from finding a lucky four leaf clovers.

Americans, on the other hand, have a slightly different set of favorite lucky superstitions. The most popular of which is crossing your fingers (53%). Americans also love to wish upon a shooting star (49%) — a practice bestowed to many at a young age. Picking up a penny, one of the oldest superstitions, is still popular amongst 46% of those in the US. Every penny counts, right? Beginner’s luck (43%) and knock on wood (42%), are shared as favorite lucky superstitions amongst Canadians and Americans alike.

Better safe, than sorry!

Since both Canada and the United States are home to a number of sports leagues, teams, and fanbases, we wanted to see if Canadians and Americans perform any sports-related superstitions in hopes that their favourite team(s) have a better chance of winning. Surprisingly, only 21% of our respondents believe in sports superstitions.

Out of the 21% of respondents who do believe in sports-related superstitions, 41% of them like to wear a lucky piece of clothing while watching their favourite team. And 33% like to practice the same routine on gameday. A hopeful 20% make sure to watch their teams’ games from a certain location, whether that’s at their favourite bar or even a specific section of the stadium. Just 12% believe in eating the same food each time, while 9% simply prefer to watch the game with a regular, perhaps lucky, group of people.


In March 2023, we surveyed 2,000 Canadians and 2,000 Americans to learn about their beliefs around luck and superstition. Respondents were 52% female, 47% male, and 1% preferred to self-identify. The average age or respondents was 36 years.

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