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In order to keep lady luck on their side, Brits will be practicing a whole host of bizarre superstitions on Friday 13th. Ranging from the ancient tradition of carrying a rabbit’s foot to the more modern practice of avoiding the cracks in the pavements, the UK remains a deeply superstitious nation.

Research from leading bingo operator found that 8% of Britons believe that Friday 13th* is unlucky meaning that they suffer from a phobia known as Friggatriskaidekaphobia*.

To ward off the misfortune of the day Brits resort to equally bizarre methods to stay lucky:

Top 10 superstitions

1. Avoid pavement cracks
2. Knock on wood
3. Keep fingers crossed
4. Not walking under ladders
5. Wear something shaped like a clover
6. Have a horseshoe in the house
7. Look out for two magpies
8. Put your left foot out of bed first
9. Carry an acorn
10. Carry a rabbit’s foot

With so many people avoiding the cracks in the pavement and not walking under ladders pedestrians’ biggest risk on Friday 13th could be their very own high street.

Danny Mahon, Brand Manager for said: “If you fear Friday 13th then you are not alone. Why not arm yourself with a good luck charm and face the day with a positive mental attitude. There is probably nothing to fear, here at we have found that Friday 13th can actually be a lucky day to play bingo.”

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For further information please contact the press office:
Mischief PR 020 3128 6502 or

Notes to editors:


The fear of Friday the 13th has been called friggatriskaidekaphobia
(Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom "Friday" is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen)

Background to the superstitions

Avoid pavement cracks
“Don't step on the cracks or you'll break your mother's back”. Not known exactly where this came from although it is likely to have derived from a childhood rhyme.

Knock on wood
Tradition in western folklore of literally touching/knocking on wood, or merely stating that you are, in order to avoid “tempting fate after making a favourable observation, a boast, or speaking of one's own death.

Keep fingers crossed
Thought to originate from the fingers making a sign of the cross when crossed.

Not walking under ladders
Before the gallows were invented, murderers were hung from the top of a ladder, and when they died, it is said that their ghosts remained for a long time where they had fallen. This made ladders very unpopular places.

Wear something shaped like a clover
A fourth leaf represents good luck – the other three representing faith, hope and love.

Have a horseshoe in the house
Many believe that to hang a horseshoe with the ends pointing upwards is good luck as it acts as a storage container of sorts for any good luck that happens to be floating by, whereas to hang it with the ends pointing down, is bad luck as all the good luck will fall out.

Look out for two magpies
“One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy”. This is thought to be due to a magpie’s character – high
spirited and expressive.

Put your left foot out of bed first
In ancient times, it was unlucky to set the left foot on the ground first. This was because the devil was said to be left-handed.

Carry an acorn
During the Norman Conquest, the English carried dried acorns to protect themselves from the brutalities of the day. Considered to be an emblem of luck, prosperity, youthfulness and power.

Carry a rabbit’s foot
Originates from China and South America where for centuries it has been believed that carrying a severed rabbit’s food wards off bad luck.

About Gala Bingo

Gala Bingo, and Gala TV are all part of Gala Coral Group Limited - Europe’s leading gambling operator. Gala Coral is proud to be the first gambling operator to have received full GamCare accreditation across all its division and employs nearly 17,000 people. is a leading online bingo website with a winner every second (bingo and games) and gives away over £62 million a month. offers bingo, chat and other fun games 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Gala Bingo
Gala Bingo is the UK's number one bingo operator, with 142 clubs. Gala Bingo hosts a jackpot game called High 5, a unique offering in the bingo industry whereby jackpots are shared between club members. The largest win to date was in November 2007, where nearly £875,000 was won - half of which was distributed among High 5 players and the other half went to one overall winner.

Gala TV
Gala TV, which awards 200,000 winners a year, broadcasts 24 hours a day on AutoBingo is available throughout the day with live bingo running from 5pm-1am.

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