Superstition has a huge impact on people’s everyday lives. Some of us change travel plans, avoid building floor numbers and pick lottery numbers based on what they feel is lucky or unlucky. But while these numbers may be universal in Malta, they differ greatly according to culture.
Language, religion and history have all shaped the way different people look at numbers, and everyone has different numbers that evoke jubilation or wariness.
Here are some of the most popular beliefs about numbers from around the world.
The Number 4
Based on associations with the four-leaf clover, 4 is considered a lucky number in Germany.
On the other hand, it’s thought to be unlucky in China because the pronunciation of this number is similar to that of the Chinese word for “death”.
Throughout most of Asia, the number 4 is skipped on prices, phone numbers and floors in high rises.
The Number 7
This number is thought to be lucky in a lot of western countries, including Malta. This is thought to go back right to the popular creation story and the belief that the world was created in seven days.
7 is however unlucky in countries with a heavy Chinese influence because July (the seventh month) is associated with ghosts.
The Number 8
In countries where 7 is associated with ghosts, 8 is definitely prepared. This is because the word for eight is similar to the word for “prosperity”.
The Number 9
This might be a strange superstitious number unless you live in Northern Europe. In Norway, 9 is considered lucky because it is used very frequently in mythology.
While 7 is definitely more popular in cultures with Christian influences, 9 has a similarly positive connotation because of its association with the Holy Trinity. This, after all, is where the saying “on cloud nine” comes from.
Meanwhile, 9 is seen as unlucky in Japan because it sounds similar to the word for “torture”.
The Number 13
By far the most popular number on this list. In most western countries, 13 is felt to be unlucky due to its use in the Mayan Calendar and its association with The Last Supper.
This, in fact, is where the issue of Friday the 13th comes in. Apart from legends of this specific day being jinxed, there is also the issue of Judas being the 13th guest to arrive at The Last Supper. In Spanish-speaking countries and Greece, on the other hand, it’s Tuesday the 13th which people are afraid of, a mix of having the influence of Ares (the god of war) and the Fall of Constantinople (Tuesday 13th April, 1204).
A whole 80% of high-rises nowadays actually skip the 13th floor, and a lot of people are either wary or just plain scared of coming across the number in their everyday lives.
This doesn’t apply to everywhere, though. In Italy, 13 is actually seen as a lucky number, because it’s strongly associated with the 13th Saint, the saint of finding lost people and things. So what do the Italians fear?
The Number 17
Yep; in Italian popular culture, it’s actually Friday the 17th which is considered a day of bad luck.
The origin of this belief is said to be in the writing of the Roman numerals for 17, XVII. A very quick reshuffle of those numerals gives you VIXI, which is Latin for “I have lived’.
The 2000 parody film Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday The Thirteenth had even changed the title to include this little bit of Italian superstition, but young people in Italy still abide by the more popular Friday the 13th urban legend.
Don’t worry; whether you think these numbers really can rule your fate or you think it’s all a load of bull, you can still easily bet on tonight’s €54,000,000 EuroMillions jackpot!
With a 1 in 13 chance (oh the irony) of winning something, and a 1 in 139,838,160 chances of walking away with the jackpot, why not give your own lucky numbers a shot?
Have fun and good luck!
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Like everything that makes sense in life – it takes three easy steps:
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Step 2. Choose your magic lottery numbers online.
Step 3. Wait to see if you’re one of the lucky ones, and then have your money sent to you. #Shweet
Why do it online?
The advantage of betting with Jackpot.com – which is licensed by The Malta Gaming Authority, so totally legit – is that you can try your luck anywhere and anytime. You can even check exactly what your odds of winning are, and what combination of matching numbers get you what percentage of the pot.
Good luck, and don’t forget about where you read the information when you’re rolling in it!